What are common eye injuries?
In my experience, eye injuries come from a broad range of accidents. These are a list of the common eye injuries we deal with as paramedics.
Patients who have gotten Oleoresin Spray (Pepper Spray) in their eyes would be the most common eye injury that we treat in todays society. These are just as frequently the Police Officers using it as the Offenders (or crooks) who are being sprayed. This is because wind and various other factors may cause the spray to land everywhere. Also, different people have different reactions to it. Some people may be particularly allergic to some of the additives in Oleoresin Spray, and as a result their eyes become worse than others.
The various pollens and dustmites that cause most people to develop heyfever will affect the eye differently in different people. Most people barely notice it. However, some people develop severe irritation and swelling around the eyes as a result of heyfever.
Penetrating eye injuries come from a myriad of accidents, all of which, generally result in the patient stating to me “wow, I wish I had of been wearing my safety goggles” – which they normally end up having on them, but not actually wearing at the time. Common penetrating injuries that I’ve seen include: metal fragmants while people are hamering or chiseling, bits of broken wood and glass fragmants. Most penetrating eye injuries are very rare. This is because the corneal reflex, which causes the eyelids to immediate close and block anything that is falling into the eye, works very fast.
Blunt trauma to the head (such as with a closed fist during a fight) can sometime damage the eyes. Also, in some violent situations, I have seen people use screw drivers as knives, which have, on occasion penetrated the eye ( but these are uncommon eye injuries.
Light or Sparks
Anyone who has been a welder for many years will tell you of the story of someone who thought they could get the quick welding job done without a visor (special sunglasses/head protection). The patient may be alright while welding, but afterwards, the eye iris becomes damaged.
Smoke is an irritant, and like all irritants it will cause the eyes to become red and sore.