Let's Protect Our Eyes!

Created on: Monday, October 17, 2016

Eye injuries can vary from minimal to severe.  Some require prompt attention or you can risk further, and in some cases long term, damage. Common eye injuries include:

1. Corneal abrasion:  Commonly known as a scratched eye, this can affect many of us at some point during our lives.  Causes of an abrasion may include being poked in the eye with a tree branch or fingernail or attempting to rub dust out of your eye to name a few.  If it is a very minor abrasion the corneal tissue will regenerate and heal often times within 24 hours aided by artificial tear supplementation.  However, a deeper scratch requires attention by your eye care provider to provide additional medical therapies to ensure proper healing or long term irritation and possible recurrent abrasions may occur.

2. Penetrating foreign object:  First and foremost, let's prevent these. Make certain to wear safety glasses at all times if you are performing a task that puts you at risk for this injury.  Should an object penetrate the cornea, it usually becomes embedded there but can penetrate deeper into the eye.  Should you suspect a possible foreign body, seek prompt attention as a delay in care can result in greater difficulty of removal and possible scarring that can affect visual acuity. 

3. Chemical burn: An unexpected splash or spray of a toxic material can cause immediate pain and redness or depending on the chemical the pain may be delayed.  Immediate flushing of water under sink if possible should occur for 15 minutes. Next contact your eye care provider or emergency room/urgent care for further assessment and treatment.

4. Subconjunctival hemorrhage:   This is the event that causes your eye to look severely red and bloody.  Most often, the eye looks much worse than the condition really is.  These can commonly occur from simple rubbing of the eye after feeling an irritant in the eye.  Patients on blood thinning medications are at greater risk for these occurring.  Generally, these will heal within 7-14 days depending on your body's natural healing response rate. 

5. Orbital blow out fracture:  A blow to the orbital bone structure surrounding the eye from a blunt force like a baseball bat or punch to the eye can result in a fractured orbital bone.  Immediate swelling typically occurs and possibly bleeding internally in the eye.  Prompt attention is a must for a suspected injury of this nature. 

Please do not take any suspected injury to the eye for granted.  The gift of sight is something you do not want to risk being compromised or taken away. 



 By: Dr. Mitch Albers, O.D.