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Injury to the eye, eyelid, or area around the eye
Vision and Eye Injuries: It is important to test vision in both eyes. If there has been no damage to the vision, then most likely there is no serious injury to the eyeball. Test vision at home by covering each eye in turn and looking at a near object and then a distant object. Is the vision blurred in comparison to normal?
Black Eye: Bruising and purple discoloration of the eyelids and upper cheek is referred to as a "black eye." Usually it is the result of a direct blow to this area (e.g., a punch). It gets worse for the first couple of days. It usually goes away in 2-3 weeks.
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This is the medical term for a flame-shaped bruise of the white area of the eyeball, which sometimes occurs after a direct blow to the eye. It usually goes away in 2-3 weeks.
Chemical splashed in eye, read EYE, CHEMICAL IN
Foreign body present, read EYE, FOREIGN BODY IN
HEAD INJURY is the main concern
FIRST AID Advice for Bleeding:
Apply direct pressure to the entire wound with a clean cloth.
Try to avoid pressure on the eyeball.
FIRST AID Advice for Penetrating Object: If penetrating object still in place, don't remove it (Reason: removal could cause bleeding or more damage).
FIRST AID Advice for Shock: Lie down with feet elevated.
Knocked out (unconscious)
You think you have a serious injury
Vision is blurred or lost in either eye
Constant tearing or blinking
Double vision or unable to look upward
Bloody or cloudy fluid behind the cornea (clear part)
Object hit the eye at high speed (such as from a lawn mower)
Sharp object hit the eye (e.g., a metallic chip or flying glass)
Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
Any cut on the eyelid or eyeball
Black eyes bilaterally (on both sides)
You think you need to be seen
Large swelling or bruise (wider than 2 inches) at the site of the injury
Eyelids swollen shut
No tetanus booster in more than 10 years (5 years for dirty cuts and scrapes)
You have other questions or concerns
Pain has not improved after 3 days
Minor eye injury and you don't think you need to be seen
Treatment of Superficial Cuts and Scrapes (abrasions) to Eyelid or Area around Eye:
Apply direct pressure with a sterile gauze or clean cloth for 10 minutes to stop any bleeding.
Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes (Protect the eye with a clean cloth).
Apply an antibiotic ointment. Cover large scrapes with a Band-Aid or dressing. Change daily.
Treatment of Swelling or Bruise with Intact Skin:
Apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes each hour for 4 consecutive hours.
48 hours after the injury, use local heat for 10 minutes 3 times each day to help reabsorb the blood.
Treatment of Subconjunctival Hemorrhage (flame-shaped bruise of the white area of eyeball): No specific treatment is required. It usually goes away in 2-3 weeks.
For pain relief, take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol):
Take 650 mg by mouth every 4-6 hours. Each Regular Strength Tylenol pill has 325 mg of acetaminophen.
Another choice is to take 1,000 mg every 8 hours. Each Extra Strength Tylenol pill has 500 mg of acetaminophen.
The most you should take each day is 3,000 mg.
Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil):
Take 400 mg by mouth every 6 hours.
Another choice is to take 600 mg by mouth every 8 hours.
Use the lowest amount that makes your pain feel better.
Naproxen (e.g., Aleve):
Take 250-500 mg by mouth every 12 hours.
Acetaminophen is thought to be safer than ibuprofen or naproxen in people over 65 years old. Acetaminophen is in many OTC and prescription medicines. It might be in more than one medicine that you are taking. You need to be careful and not take an overdose. An acetaminophen overdose can hurt the liver.
Caution: Do not take acetaminophen if you have liver disease.
Caution: Do not take ibuprofen or naproxen if you have stomach problems, kidney disease, are pregnant, or have been told by your doctor to avoid this type of medicine. Do not take ibuprofen or naproxen for more than 7 days without consulting your doctor.
Before taking any medicine, read all the instructions on the package
Call Your Doctor If:
Pain becomes severe
Pain does not improve after 3 days
Changes in vision
You become worse
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