Whenever an eye injury occurs make sure to visit ophthalmologist before it gets too late. Eye injuries are found to be affecting more than 2.5 million people every year and about 90% of these injuries can be prevented by using an appropriate eye wear. Eye injuries due to accidents could even cause permanent eye damage.
What is an eye injury?
Eye injuries could range from very minor like getting soap in one’s eye to catastrophies that may result in permanent loss of vision or loss of an eye. Eye injuries may occur at any place, be it workplace, home, any accident or while participating or playing any sport. It is important to recognise an eye injury on time, so that treatment can be done immediately.
Types of eye injuries
There are different types of eye injuries which may affect your everyday life. It is important to know about their symptoms, causes and treatment.
- Corneal Abrasions – Corneal abrasions is basically an injury to the cornea covering the front of an eye. The injury commonly occurs in children and when these objects come in contact with eye surface small abrasion occurs. Foreign bodies in eye like dirt, pebbles or insects may cause corneal abrasions whereas having a scratch from a toy or fingernail sometimes also leads to corneal abrasions. The symptoms of the injury may include:
- Pain in the affected area
- Profuse tearing
- Pain while looking at some lighted object or light
- Excessive linking of the affected eye
Sometimes the symptoms of corneal abrasions may be similar to other eye conditions or injuries, so it is always preferable to consult a doctor and know about the cause of the condition. If there is something in the eye, a doctor can examine it and use eye stain to see surface of cornea. Do not try to rub or remove anything from cornea yourself, a doctor can safely remove it without any harm.
- Chemical burns – The chemical eye injuries occur when any type of chemical enters the eye. An immediate medical care is needed in this case. Chemical burns may lead to loss of vision and sometimes loss of an eye too. Eye injuries caused by chemicals also occur when eye gets exposed to concentrated aerosals and fumes. Alkali burns having high ph, acid burns caused by chemicals having low ph and irritants like pepper spray having neutral ph are the three types of chemical burns. Symptoms of chemical burns are:
- Pain in eye
- Eye irritation
- Swelling in eye lids
In this type of eye injury the doctor would wash your eyes and ensure that eye gets thoroughly cleaned. It depends on the chemical involved and he may test the ph of the eye and continue washing till it gets back to normal. The doctor would wipe the irritant from the eye and may also use anaesthetic medicated eye drops and eye medicine to make washing less painful.
- Hyphema – Hyphema refers to the condition in which blood gets collected in the anterior eye chamber blocking vision completely or partially. Hyphema is caused by trauma of the eye followed by increased pressure inside eye. Common symptoms may include:
- Blood in front of the eye
- Blurred or clouded vision
- Light sensitivity
There is no treatment required in mild cases but immediate medical assistance could be required in severe condition. The blood usually gets absorbed in few days but when bleeding does not stop visit your health care specialist. He would advise you for bed rest and may provide some sedative eye medicines and drops to reduce pressure inside eye.
- Bruising or Black eye – Ecchymosis is a common name of black eye which occurs from some type of eye injury. It causes tissue around the eye to be bruised and produces the characteristic blue-black discoloration. Fracture deep inside skull also cause black eye to both eyes. People getting black eye get signs like bruising and swelling of eye lids and soft tissue around the injured part. When the bruise gets better, it becomes green or yellow before it disappear. The treatment for black eye would include using an ice on affected area, bed rest and medication named ibuprofen as prescribed by doctor
- Fracture of the orbit – The bony structure around the eye is orbit and when the bones around the eye gets break, it is called orbital fracture. The bones break when something hits or strikes the face. Fracture of orbit floor (blowout fracture) is common but sometimes other parts of the orbit also fracture and in some cases eyeball gets damaged too. Symptoms like bruising, swelling around eye, double vision and numbness of cheek, nose or teeth are common in blowout fractures. Surgery would be required when condition becomes worse else antibiotics are given to treat the infection and for reducing pain
Preventive measures to avoid eye injuries
Eye injuries very frequently occurs at the rate of more than 1000 each day, causing 100000 cases of disabled and leads to permanent and temporary loss of vision. Eye injuries can be prevented by following some preventive measures at home, workplace or at play.
- Always wash your hands after using household chemicals
- Provide lights and handrails at the staircase area
- Keep spray nozzles at distance from face
- Use chemical safety goggles while working with dangerous solvents and detergents at home
- Paints, pesticides and fertilisers should be placed at the secured area
- Wear UV protective sunglasses
- Avoid looking directly at the sun
- Safely remove bottle caps of wine or any beverage so that it does not hurt your eye
- Use guards on every power equipment
- Make sure there are no sharp corners on the edges of furnishing and home fixtures
- Always remove eye products and eye makeup like liner, kajal before going to bed
- Always wear work related protective gears
- Make use of proper lightening
- Always make your computer monitor and video screen clean devoid of any fingerprints and dirt
- Try to take frequent breaks and avoid fatigue
- Wear glasses or contact lenses with the correct prescription
At play or with children
- Let your child play with toys that are appropriate for his age and activity level
- Do not let your child play with projectile toys like pellet guns, bows and arrows
- Wear recommended eye gears at the sports and recreational activities
- Stay with your child while he use sharp objects related to art and crafts
- During sports and activities wear helmet with a polycarbonate face mask
- Keep distance from items in playgrounds which could pose threat to eye
- Keep your child away from fireworks
- At the school, advise your child to wear protective eye wear while performing any laboratory experiments
- Keep hazardous articles, cleaning supplies and sprays away from children’s reach
- Try to keep your child away from lawnmowers in use as dust or debris may be projected into air
One must follow preventive measures while working or at home because a number of people are blinded every year from work related eye injuries. So stop being careless and protect your eye which is the basic thing to keep your vision healthy and strong throughout life.