Man looking down and marking a piece of wood with a pencil. He is wearing protective glasses.

First aid for injuries

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Getting the right treatment fast can help prevent sight loss.

If you injure your eye, medical help immediately. Call your ophthalmologist, optometrist, family physician or go to a nearby hospital emergency room. 

If you injure your eye:

Specks in the eye
Never rub. Try lifting your upper lid down over your lower lid to brush the speck from the inside of the upper lid. Blink a few times to let the eye move the particle out. If the speck remains, keep the eye closed and get medical help.

Blows to the eye
Apply an ice compress immediately for about 15 minutes to reduce pain and prevent swelling. A black eye or blurred vision could signal internal eye damage. See a doctor immediately.

Cuts to the eye or eyelid
Bandage the eye lightly and seek immediate medical help. Don’t  wash the eye, rub or remove an object. Never apply pressure.

Chemical burns
Immediately flood the eye with water, using your fingers to keep the eye open as wide as possible. Hold your head under a faucet, looking up into the flow of water, or pour water into the eye from a clean container gently and continuously for at least 15 minutes. Roll your eyeball as much as possible. Do not use an eye cup and do not bandage the eye. Then, seek medical help.

© Copyright by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society