First Aid for Eye Injuries

Correct treatment following an eye injury can prevent the loss of sight. Medical help should be sought as soon as possible. Call your ophthalmologist, your optometrist, your family physician or go to a nearby hospital emergency room immediately!

Specks in the Eye

Never rub your eye. First try lifting your upper lid down over your lower lid allowing the lashes to brush the speck from the inside of the upper lid. Blink a few times and let the eye move the particle out. If the speck remains, keep the eye closed and seek medical assistance.

Blows to the Eye

Apply an ice cold compress immediately for about 15 minutes to reduce pain and prevent swelling. A black eye or blurred vision could signal internal eye damage. See your ophthalmologist immediately.

Cuts of the Eye and Lid

Bandage the eye lightly and seek immediate medical help. Do no attempt to wash the eye or remove an object. Never apply pressure and be careful not to rub the eye.

Chemical Burns

Flood the eye with water immediately, using your fingers to keep the eye open as wide as possible. Put your eye under a faucet or pour water from a clean container gently and continuously for at least 15 minutes. Roll the eyeball around as much as possible. Do not use an eye cup and do not bandage the eye. After these steps have been taken, seek medical help.


The key to maintaining good vision is prevention. Remember, safety first!

© Copyright by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society