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Immediate Care for Eye Injury


Eye injury can affect any part of the eye, including the skin, eyeball, eyelid, and bone. It’s usually fairly hard to injure the eyeball itself, as the structure of the face helps protect it from injury. However, eyeball injuries do occur, and they can be severe.

Medical attention is necessary for most eye injuries. At Dignity Health, our team of emergency care doctors works closely with expert ophthalmologists to provide comprehensive care for eye injuries in the Bay Area. Use our Online Waiting Room to select your estimated arrival time to one of our ERs, then wait at home until it’s your time to be seen.

Eye Injury Causes

Causes of eye injury include:

  • Blunt trauma
  • Chemical splashes
  • High-energy particle injuries
  • Sharp or puncturing trauma
  • Scratches
  • Thermal burns

Eye Injury Symptoms

You should seek medical care for the following eye injury signs and symptoms:

  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Cut or torn eyelid
  • Eyes that do not move together as they should
  • Foreign object under the eyelid or in the eye that won’t flush out
  • One eye is sticking out farther than the other
  • Redness, pain, and watering
  • Swelling of the areas around the eye or eyelids
  • Trouble seeing or vision changes
  • Unusual size or shape of the pupil

Even if you think you injury is minor, you should see a Dignity Health doctor right away. A seemingly uncomplicated eye injury can often mask a more serious injury inside the eye.

Eye Injury Treatment at Dignity Health

Our team is dedicated to providing complete diagnosis and treatment for any type of eye injury. Your specific treatment will depend on the location and severity of your injury.

In the event of an eye injury, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid applying pressure to the eye.
  • Do not rub or touch the eye.
  • Apply a cold compress for a blow to the eye.
  • Do not try to remove an embedded object.
  • Do not apply topical medications to the eye.
  • Flush the eye to remove small debris or for chemical exposure.
  • If the eyeball is cut or punctured, protect it by keeping it covered. Do not flush the eye. 

During your appointment, our ophthalmologists will discuss your treatment options with you. If your needs are urgent, visit a Dignity Health hospital or call 9-1-1. In either scenario, we are dedicated to providing expert evaluation and treatment for your injury.

Dignity Health offers emergency care for eye injuries in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.