Your eyes play a critical role in your life. That’s why knowing how to treat minor eye injuries is so important. While some injuries can be treated at home with rest, others require medical attention. We’ve put this guide together to help you understand the difference.

What Kinds of Eye Injuries Are There?

There are several different ways in which you can injure your eye. Here are four common, minor injuries:

  • A scratched eye: Whether it was your hand, a pet or an object, it’s all too easy to scratch your eye. Everyday irritants include dust, sand and even your hair. As a result of the disturbance, your eyeball will be red, irritated and sensitive to bright light.
  • A foreign object in the eye: From chemical substances to physical objects, your eyes are at risk in situations where particles are airborne. When foreign fragments sit in your eye, they cause severe pain, burning, redness and vision loss.
  • Eye swelling: Swelling occurs when your eye comes in contact with a strong force. The skin around the eye, including the eyelid, swells and becomes discolored and bruised. This injury is common among fighters and athletes.
  • Pink eye: Pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, is the result of an infected membrane covering the white part of your eye. Common symptoms include a red, swollen appearance and burning, tears and itchiness.

Injuries beyond these generally need to be seen by a medical professional. You may also need to see a doctor for these minor injuries if the symptoms are severe enough.

How Can You Treat Minor Eye Injuries?

When you injure your eye, there are a few things you should do and a few things you shouldn’t. The most critical thing to avoid doing is rubbing the eye. Doing so can worsen the pain and redness and exacerbate the injury. Instead, blink to rid the eye of any particles. You can also attempt to rinse the eye with clean water. If you decide to go outside, wear sunglasses. Your eye will be sensitive to light. With proper care, it should heal in a couple of days.

For swollen eyes, apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling and pain. Leave the ice resting on the eye, and do not use additional pressure. 

When Should You Go to the Doctor?

If your eye does not improve after a few days or the injury seems worse than those listed above, you should visit a doctor as soon as you can. Severe cases of pink eye often require medical care, as the infection is contagious and the treatment often includes medication.

Choose Nova Health as Your Urgent Care Provider

Nova Health offers quality care and a professional team of medical experts to oversee your health and recovery. Our priority is always the patient. If you need one-on-one medical care for a minor eye injury, schedule an appointment or walk into one of our urgent care facilities today.