Eye Injuries Defined
Common Eye Injuries Defined
Although our face structure is designed to naturally protect our eyes from injuries, unexpected accidents do occur. Getting sand or soap in the eye is minor, as long as the foreign object or substance is flushed out promptly with tears or water without rubbing, which may scratch the cornea. Direct blunt trauma or impact to the eye or eye socket from a tree branch or a baseball can cause more serious injuries, which may result in vision loss or blindness.
Not all eye injuries are avoidable, but precautions such as wearing safety or sport goggles can help reduce eye injury risk. Listed here are some more common eye injuries:
Black Eye – When an eye is injured from blunt trauma, a black eye is bruising from swelling and blood that collects around the eye.
Corneal Abrasion – The cornea is scratched or cut from a foreign object in the eye. Symptoms are pain, watery eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Foreign Object in the Eye – A foreign particle enters the eye and irritates the cornea and conjunctiva. The eye will tear up and redness and discomfort occurs. Rubbing the irritated eye may cause a corneal abrasion.
Foreign Substance in the Eye – Substances accidently splashed or rubbed in the eye, such as soap, hairspray, or workplace chemicals cause redness, discomfort, and irritation. If the substance is not flushed out immediately, the eye can receive a chemical burn.
Hyphema – Caused by blunt trauma to the eye, a hyphema is pooling of blood in the anterior (front) eye chamber caused by broken blood vessels.
Iritis – An inflammation of the iris, or colored part of the eye. Traumatic iritis is caused by an injury to the eye. Nontraumatic iritis is caused by systemic diseases such as psoriasis. Infectious iritis is usually caused by viruses such as herpes simplex.
Keratitis – There are many types of keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea. Some types are caused by reflective exposure to ultraviolet light (sunburn to the cornea), and bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Contact lenses, dust, pollen, and contaminated make-up can also cause keratitis.
Ocular Inflammation (Red Eye) – The most common cause of ocular inflammation is conjunctivitis, an eye infection caused by viruses or bacteria. Red eye can also be caused by a foreign object or substance in the eye.
Orbital Blowout Fracture – The protective eye orbit is comprised of tiny bones that surround the eye. Orbital blowout fractures are caused by a blunt trauma to the eye.
Most minor eye injuries will remedy on their own over 24-48 hours. For more severe eye injuries, seek medical attention immediately.