TRADIES HEALTH MONTH: Do you know where to go in the event of an eye emergency?
TRADIES HEALTH MONTH: Do you know where to go in the event of an eye emergency? Claudia Williams

Where to go during an eye emergency

IF YOU'VE ever found yourself or a co-worker in an on-the-job emergency, you don't have the time to worry about where to go or what to do.

This is especially the case for eye injuries, where if you act too slowly, you can cause severe damage to your eyes and to your vision as a result.

Kingaroy OPSM Optometrist Carolyn Dingle said if you have a severe chemical splash, penetrating eye injury or very serious blow to the eye, then the hospital should be your first point of call.

"With metal foreign bodies, acting sooner rather than later is important,” she said.

"In regards to metal, even stainless steel can rust in the eye if left in for a relatively short period of time, which is a more difficult thing to remove, and can take longer to heal as well.”

Mrs Dingle said that she occasionally sees people who have had something hit the eye and bounce off, leaving a small abrasion but wasn't embedded.

Mrs Dingle also said if it's something simple like a corneal foreign body, most optometrists are more than qualified to deal with the problem if they're open.

"Here at OPSM we're open six days a week and make sure to see these sorts of situations as soon as we can,” she said.

"We can't always see them immediately, but we do our best to see them within half an hour of presenting, typically if they ring beforehand.”

Mrs Dingle said this can sometimes be a quicker wait than going to the emergency room so long as it's a less severe problem.

Even without any on-the-job accidents, Mrs Dingle said it's important to keep up to date with your suggested eye appointments.

"If you're young, healthy and don't wear glasses, every two to three years is a great interval,” she said.

"If you wear prescription safety glasses that need to be replaced yearly, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to get an eye test that often so long as everything is stable. Every couple of years is a good interval.”

Mrs Dingle said once you're over 40 years old, people get an increase in the frequency of eye problems, so she suggests coming more regularly.

"If you're noticing any changes or symptoms relating to your eyes, it's important to get that checked out as soon as you can,” she said.

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