Eye tissue is very delicate and can easily be injured through knocks, excessive flash light or absorption of chemical products. The symptoms of eye injury can include an incessant flow of tears, pain in or behind the eye, eyelid spasm, altered vision and bleeding. In the instance of accidental injury of the eye, specifically the accidental splash of liquid, you must immediately manage the situation as a quick response will minimise the effect on your client who will be feeling pain/ discomfort and may begin to panic if their vision is affected.
It is important that you do not allow the client to touch or rub their eye, reassure them that you will take care of them and that you have the right resources to alleviate the problem. Use a clean pad to soak any excess liquid from the eye area, but do not apply pressure, if the problem has been caused by an accidental spill, you will need to thoroughly wash the eye with lots of clean water.
Make sure you have spare towels in your work place to prepare for this as leaning your client over a sink could cause greater discomfort to them; it is important that they rest in a comfortable position and minimise head movement. If the client has a foreign body in the eye, do not attempt to remove it.
As with any emergency situation, if it becomes too serious for you to handle alone, call for medical assistance and continue to be responsible for your client’s safety and comfort while you wait for an ambulance to arrive.
- Reassure your client that you know how to help them to manage the situation
- Ask the client not to touch or roll their eye as this could spread the problem
- Allow the client to rest in a comfortable position with the eye closed and ask them to avoid movement of the head to prevent further damage
- Flush the eye with clean running water
- Protect the injured eye with a clean eye pad
- In the instance there is a foreign body in the eye, do not attempt to remove it, pad around it to release pressure on the eye
- In any instance of serious damage to your client’s eye, call an ambulance and continue to give reassurance while you wait for it to arrive.