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Coping with an Eye Injury in Northern California

Typically, it is fairly hard to injure the eyeball itself, as the structure of your face helps to protect your eyes from injury. In many cases, structures around the eyeball, including the bone, eyelids, and skin, bear the brunt of the damage. 

However, damaging your eyeballs is not impossible; and when these injuries occur, they can be serious. If you sustain an eye injury, you may need medical attention. Because eye injuries can cause blindness, if you are unsure about the seriousness of the injury, see a doctor. 

At Dignity Health North State, our health professionals provide expert emergency services for many medical conditions, including eye injuries, in Northern California. If you need help, use our InQuicker tool to select your arrival time at a Dignity Health North State emergency room. 


Serious Eye Injury Symptoms

Signs of a serious eye injury may not appear right away. A severe eye condition may be hidden by a superficial symptom or a mild external injury. You should see a Dignity Health North State doctor even for eye injuries you believe are minor. 

Be sure to seek medical attention for more serious symptoms, including:

  • Foreign object in the eye or under the eyelid that will not flush out
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Marked swelling of the eyelids and surrounding area
  • Pain, redness, and watering
  • Eyes that do not move together as they should
  • Torn or cut eyelid
  • One eye sticking out farther than the other
  • Unusual size or shape of the pupil
  • Trouble seeing or vision changes


Eye Injury Causes

Causes of eye injury include: 

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


Treating Your Eye Injury at Dignity Health North State

Treatment strategies depend heavily on the specific type of eye injury. After initial treatment, your emergency doctor may recommend that you visit an ophthalmologist for expert evaluation of your condition and appropriate treatment.

As you await treatment, follow these tips: 

  • In case of chemical exposure or small debris, flush the eye.
  • Do not touch or rub the injured eye.
  • Do not apply pressure to the injured eye.
  • Do not apply ointment or any other medication.
  • Do not try to remove an embedded object.
  • If you sustained a blow to the eye, apply a cold compress (but not pressure).
  • Do not flush the eye if the eyeball is cut or punctured — instead, place something over the eye to shield it.

Always wear protective eyewear to prevent eye injuries during risky activities such as, yard work, industrial or construction work, carpentry, and sports. 

Use our Find a Doctor tool to select a qualified ophthalmologist who can evaluate your condition and provide knowledgeable and considerate care. 

Dignity Health North State offers advanced diagnostic and treatment options for sustained eye injuries in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.