God has blessed us with the grace of vision which enables us to see our surroundings and appreciate the exquisite beauty of what God has created. About 90% of our leaning is done through the visual sense. The eye is one of the most delicate organs in the human body. It is protected by bones, lids and lashes.
It is our duty to protect this great blessing. We should always remember that protection is better than cure. Any neglect could create harmful results leading to loss of one of the greatest graces that God has blessed us with. Therefore, it is important to know the causes of eye injuries and the precautions we can practice in order to protect the eye.
TYPES OF EYE INJURIES:
1. FOREIGN BODIES
Some situations could cause foreign bodies to enter the eye, whether at home or at the workplace. Some of the common threats are:
A. Metallic fragments
D. Stone fragments
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN CASE OF A FOREIGN BODY EYE INJURY:
1- Wash the injured eye with water.
2- The victim should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to receive the necessary treatment.
3- Avoid rubbing the eye so as not to push the foreign body to penetrate the eye, which would make the extraction of the foreign body more difficult and increase the possibility of greater damage.
TO PROTECT THE EYE FROM FOREIGN BODY INJURIES:
Wear protective eye glasses if there is a breakaway-fragment hazard, and necessary precautions should be taken when working with sand or sawdust.
Many chemical solutions are used daily at home and in the workplace, the most dangerous of which are alkali (basic) solution. Widely used chemicals include:
A. Toilet and bathroom cleaners
B. Wet plaster and cement
E. Industrial detergents
The chemicals under A and B are bases.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN CASE OF CHEMICAL EXPOSURE:
When exposed to any chemical solution, the eye should be washed immediately for no less than 20 continuous minutes. It is imperative to wash the eye with clean water while the eyelids are widely open. If water is not available, use any other available liquid such as cold milk or buttermilk. Any delay in diluting the chemical solution in the eye could result in serious damage. After that, the victim should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to get the proper treatment.
TO PROTECT THE EYE FROM CHEMICAL SOLUTION EXPOSURE:
Follow the instructions on the chemical container and wear protective eye glasses when working with chemicals, especially bases. Chemicals should be kept out of the reach of children to avoid accidental exposure.
3. PENETRATING INJURIES:
Some common objects that might cause penetrating eye injuries are:
B. Tree thorns
C. Toys with pointed and sharp edges
D. Pointed and sharp objects that are usually used in the kitchen or the garden, such as knives, forks, scissors and shears
E. Broken glass
F. Pens, especially pencils
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN CASE OF A PENETRATING EYE INJURY:
Do not rub the eye. Cover the injured eye with a protective hard shield, so that no pressure is placed on the eye or eyelid. Take the victim immediately to an emergency room.
TO PREVENT PENETRATING EYE INJURIES:
Sharp tools should be used properly and with caution. When not in use, they should be kept out of the reach of children. Protective eyeglasses should be worn when needed. Also, children should be taught safety measures such as how to handle and pass scissors, not to run holding a pen, directing the pointed part of the pen, scissors or knife downward when walking, etc.
4. BLUNT (SUPERFICIAL) EYE INJURIES
Some of the common causes of blunt (superficial) eye injuries are:
A. The exposure to welding sparks
B. Finger nails
C. Blunt objects such as plastic balls
D. Incorrect use of contact lenses
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN CASE OF BLUNT EYE INJURIES:
Do not rub the eye. Cover the injured eye with protective hard shield, so that no pressure is placed on the eye or eyelid. Then, immediately take the victim to an emergency room.
TO PROTECT THE EYE FROM SUPERFICIAL INJURIES:
Wear protective glasses when using welding equipment.
You should not stare directly into welding sparks or at the sun. Always be cautious when doing your daily chores so as not to harm your eyes.