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Ocular First Aid: If You Cannot Get In To See An Optometrist

Ocular First Aid
2021 18 March

Happy 2021 everybody!

On Christmas day, my son gave me an amazing gift.

For anyone with experience with young children, especially toddlers, you may have a similar story to this one.

My son was a bit too young to appreciate the spectacle of Christmas this year, but we wanted to create as many memories as we could for him to look back on when he’s a little bit older. We started our morning with presents, and after being mesmerised by all the colourful wrapping paper, which was obviously far more interesting than the Duplo and crayons from Santa – he waddled over to me, his arms outstretched for a cuddle. He had a big beaming smile and as I picked him up, one of his little hands pulled my glasses off my face while the other hand, collected the inner corner of my eye.

During my career, I have seen first-hand how these cute, seemingly innocent little fingers can inflict a whole lot of damage. For some reason, baby fingernails are sharper than a set of professional chef’s knives, and when they come in contact with the conjunctiva (the white part of your eye) or the cornea (the clear, front surface) it can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable.

People who experience corneal or conjunctival abrasions may notice symptoms like:

  • Foreign body sensation and discomfort
  • Redness
  • Tearing and watering
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity

The best thing to do if you ever find yourself in this situation, is to get yourself to an optometrist as soon as possible, so they can assess the surface of your eye and check the extent of the injury. If, however, you find yourself in a position like myself on Christmas day, you may need to administer some ocular first aid such as:

  • Rinsing the eye with saline solution or cooled boiled water – if there is a foreign object in your eye, this will help to flush it out
  • Avoid rubbing your eye – this will make the scratch worse
  • Stop all contact lens wear – if there is a scratch on the cornea, contact lenses will slow the healing process and put you at more risk of a secondary infection potentially developing
  • Avoid eye makeup
  • Wear sunglasses – especially if you are experiencing light sensitivity, this will make you feel more comfortable
  • Use lubricant eye drops (easily accessible over the counter) – avoid anything targeted at “reducing redness” and stick to formulations that are unpreserved

Thankfully for me, my son only caught the corner of my eye, and my insider knowledge and first aid helped me get on top of it before it completely ruined my Christmas. Lucky he’s cute.

At Dingley Eye Centre, we are passionate about your vision and the health of your families’ eyes. Call us to make an appointment, book online or come down for a chat about how we can help you and your eyes if you get caught in an uncomfortable situation where your eyes need some first aid assistance.

Dr Hashini Seneviratne, Darran Yeow and the team @ Dingley Eye Centre
We are your local optometrist
Ph: 9551 4244
116 Centre Dandenong Rd, Dingley Village
Website: insightfuleyecare.com.au {Book appointments online}
Email: admin@dingleyeyecentre.com

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