Prev NEXT  


First Aid Overview

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Because the eyes are so delicate, eye injuries can be especially difficult to deal with. The following instructions will help you administer first aid to a patient with an eye injury.

Causes: The eye can be injured by a chemical, foreign object, or direct blow.

Symptoms: Pain, redness, bleeding, tearing, sensitivity to light, swelling, and discoloration of area around eye.

Emergency Treatment

Impaled Object:

  1. Call for EMS.

  2. DO NOT allow victim to touch or rub eye. DO NOT attempt to remove object.

  3. Cut hole in thick dressing or folded cloth. Place over BOTH eyes, with impaled object sticking out through hole.

    eye injury first aid
    Use thick cloth or dressing and
    cut a hole for affected eye.

  4. Position paper cup over injured eye and impaled object. DO NOT touch eye or impaled object.

    eye injury first aid
    Put paper cup over affected eye.

  5. Secure cup in place with bandage or scarf that covers BOTH eyes.

  6. Keep victim still, and observe for shock (see shock).
Chemical in Eye:
  1. Call for EMS.

  2. DO NOT let victim rub or close eye.

  3. Flood affected eye with clean, warm running water for at least 20 minutes.

    -­With gloved hands, hold eyelid open and pour water slowly over eyeball at inner corner, allowing water to run out of eye from outer corner. DO NOT allow water to run into unaffected eye.

    -Have victim roll eyeball as much as possible as you wash out eye.

  4. DO NOT bandage eye.

  5. Keep victim still, monitor victim's breathing (see ABCs), and observe for shock (see shock).
Foreign Object in Eye:
  1. DO NOT allow victim to rub eye.

  2. Gently pull upper eyelid outward and down over lower eyelid, and hold. This causes tears to flow, which may wash out foreign object.

  3. If tears do not remove particle, cover both eyes and seek medical attention immediately.
Cut on Eyeball or Eyelid:
  1. Eyeball: Cover both eyes with clean gauze or cloth; secure with bandage. DO NOT apply pressure or allow victim to touch eye. Eyelid: Control bleeding by gently pressing lid against bone surrounding eye.

  2. Seek medical attention.
Black Eye:
  1. Apply ice-cold compress, ice pack wrapped in thin towel, or ice cubes tied into cloth. If victim is wearing contact lenses, DO NOT attempt to remove them; allow medical professional to do so.

  2. Seek medical attention.

To learn more about first aid and emergency care, see:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.