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Treatment of Eye Injury

There are various types of eye injuries:

Blow to the Eye

Trauma to the eye can result from a direct blow to the eye. The eyeball, supporting muscles, the eyelid, or the orbital bones can be damaged. Symptoms of eye trauma may include bruising, eye redness, swelling, pain, blurry vision, and flashes or floaters. Serious clinical signs such as hyphema or retinal detachment could occur. Even in cases where trauma may seem minor, every eye injury should be given medical attention as injuries can cause serious vision loss. Because an injury can increase the life-long risk of developing glaucoma, people should continue to have their eyes examined every year.

Corneal Abrasion or Corneal Foreign Body

A scratch of the cornea is called a corneal abrasion. Common causes can include the direct impact of a sharp object, such as a fingernail or tree branch. Abrasions can also be caused by small, airborne particles, such as dust or flying debris. A solid object or projectile can adhere to the eye or embed itself into the structures of the eye and is known as a foreign body. The severity of one’s symptoms can vary depending on the depth and size of the abrasion. Common symptoms include irritation, pain, light sensitivity, watery eyes or discharge and redness. If a corneal foreign body is present, it can be removed after adequate topical anesthesia under magnification and good illumination in our office. A prescription antibiotic eye drop is prescribed to prevent an infection from developing in the injured area. Additionally, other prescription medications may be needed to control inflammation to the eye. Immediate care and subsequent follow-up appointments are important to ensure that the cornea is able to heal properly.

Chemical Burn

Solid, liquid or aerosol chemicals that can be found in the home or in industrial settings can damage your eyes. The first aid management of chemicals in the eye is immediate and profuse irrigation with a steady stream of eye wash solution. Chemical injuries can be caused by acid (e.g. car battery), which can damage the superficial layers of the cornea. Less common but much more severe are alkali burns (e.g. ammonia, drain cleaners). An evaluation with certain tests can be done to determine the extent of the burn. The threat to vision is serious and both require an eye examination, as intensive topical medications are often necessary.

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