Safety At Home

First Aid

Eye Injuries

Do not

  • touch the eye or contact lens
  • allow patient to rub eye
  • try to remove any object that is embedded in or penetrating from the eye
  • persist in examining the eye if the injury is severe
  • apply pressure when bandaging the eye.

Signs and symptoms

  • pain and ‘watering’
  • whites of the eye may become red
  • unable to open the eye
  • spasm or twitching
  • swelling.

What to do


Act with extreme urgency (within seconds) if a heat or chemical burn.

1. Follow DRSABCD.

2. Support the patient’s head to keep as still as possible and ask patient to try not to move their eyes.

3. Open eyelids gently and wash eye with cool flowing water for 20 minutes.

4. Place eye pad or a light clean dressing over the injured eye only.

5. Ensure an ambulance has been called.

Penetrating or embedded wounds

1. Follow DRSABCD.

2. Lie patient in comfortable position on back.

3. Cover the injured eye only by placing thick pads above and below the eye or cover with a paper cup.

4. Bandage pads in place making sure there is no pressure on eyelids.

5. Ensure an ambulance has been called.


1. Ask the patient not to rub their eyes.

2. Wash the eyes with sterile saline or cold tap water.


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