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Eye injuries

Written on:2019-06-28
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Eye injuries

  • Eye injuries

  • Minor eye injuries, such as shampoo or dust in your eye, often get better on their own within a day. Get medical help if you have a chemical in your eye or something pierces it.

    Go to A&E or call 999 if:

    • a strong chemical, such as oven cleaner or bleach, is in your eye – keep rinsing your eye with water while waiting for medical help

    • a sharp object has pierced your eye

    • something has hit your eye at high speed – for example, while using power tools or mowing the lawn

    • there are any changes to your sight after an eye injury

    • you have a headache, high temperature or sensitivity to light

    • youre feeling sick or being sick after an eye injury

    • you cannot move your eye or keep it open

    • blood or pus is coming from your eye

    Find your nearest A&E

    How to wash your eye


    • wash your eye with clean water if there's something in it

    • follow the advice on the packaging if any cosmetics or household products get in your eyes

    • take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease any pain or discomfort


    • do not try to remove any object that's pierced your eye

    • do not touch or rub your eye until it's better

    • do not wear make-up around your eye until it's better

    • do not wear contact lenses until your eye is better

    You should:

    • use clean water (not hot) – this can be from a tap, shower or bottled water if you’re not at home

    • hold your eye open

    • run lots of water over your eyeball for at least 20 minutes

    Make sure the flow of water is not too strong.

    See a GP, optician or call 111 if:

    • your eye is not getting better after 24 hours

    • youre worried about your injury

    Other eye injuries

    There is separate information about:



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