The eye is a delicate organ that is made of tissues and membranes that can be easily damaged. When injury or trauma happens to the eye, you should seek out emergency medical care right away and make an appointment with our Optometrist as soon as possible.
Your eyes are very sensitive and even what appears to be minor injury or eye damage can have lifelong consequences. Any foreign objects or chemicals that get into the eye should be removed immediately to help prevent vision loss, inflammation and infection. If you experience an eye emergency situation while in the Orillia area, don’t hesitate to contact us right away. We can determine how severe your condition is and whether it is something that can be treated within our practice, or if you need to be seen and treated by an emergency medical care provider.
Chemicals are very hazardous to eyes. If chemicals splash and get into either of your eyes, they can cause a chemical burn. Chemical burns can also occur when your eyes have not been in direct contact with hazardous substances.
Symptoms that indicate you may have a chemical burn include:
The type of chemical that has irritated or damaged the eye ultimately determines whether the damage is treatable. It also determines whether the injury and damage are permanent. Some chemical burn injuries that heal fast, such as acid burns can still cause serious damage to the surface of the eye, resulting in blindness. Other alkaline chemicals, such as lime, sodium hydroxide, drain cleaners and lye can go deep into the surface of the eye and cause permanent damage to the structures inside, such as to the cornea and lens. There are also substances that have a much milder or neutral pH that can cause temporary irritation to the eye.
Regardless of the type of chemical your eyes have been exposed to, always get medical attention right away to minimise the risk of damage that can occur to your eyesight. Chemical burns that are left untreated can lead to the development of infections, glaucoma and other serious and long-lasting or permanent eye conditions, such as blindness.
It is common practice for workplaces that have chemicals onsite to have eye-washing stations for employees in case of emergency exposure. But those aren’t the only places that chemical eye burns can occur. They can also happen in places where there aren’t any eye washing stations available. If there’s no emergency eye wash equipment available where you are, here are some things you can do to minimise your risk of injury after exposure:
Eye chemical burns should not be taken lightly. They are very serious and need to be treated right away. In most cases, an Optometrist can be just as effective in treating chemical eye burns as an emergency room doctor.
Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses when there is a risk of injury or chemical exposure. This includes when doing yard maintenance.
If your eyes are sore, red or feel sensitive to light, you should have them examined by an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist or emergency room physician to determine the cause of irritation. Sometimes the source of discomfort can be due to a corneal abrasion. This type of injury is very common and can easily turn into an eye infection. It is recommended to avoid the use of over-the-counter medications unless instructed otherwise by your eye doctor.
There are many kinds of eye injuries, including chemical burns that can cause a great deal of trauma to your eyes. No matter the cause of irritation or injury, always seek out medical care by calling us immediately.