Eye injuries can happen to anyone at any age. These injuries can range from mild to serious, and they can cause a lot of irritation.
Eye injuries can happen to anyone at any age. These injuries can range from mild to serious, and they can cause a lot of irritation. If you injure your eye in any way, it is important to get care as soon as possible from a highly regarded optometrist or ophthalmologist. Avoiding immediate care puts you at risk of long-term eye damage.
Most people do not expect to have to pay a visit to the optometrist because of an eye injury. But they happen more often than you might expect — and they can come about in the course of everyday activities. Eyes are extremely sensitive, so it is easy to injure them just by rubbing them at the wrong time.
So what are some of the most common types of eye injuries?
Learning about physical damage that can happen to your eye ensures that you will be prepared if it happens to you. It also means that you can access care as quickly as possible for the best possible outcome.
Corneal abrasions, or simply scratched eyes in layman’s terms, occur more often than most people realize. In fact, they are one of the most common eye injuries. Although they may not seem serious initially, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible for a corneal abrasion. This is because even small scratches can cause a lot of damage and discomfort.
Corneal abrasions usually occur when a foreign body enters the eye, such as an eyelash or a bit of sand. Many people cause corneal abrasions by accident by rubbing their eyes when they are irritated.
Why are corneal abrasions serious if they are caused by something so minor? Since foreign bodies entering the eye cause them, there is the potential for infection. If caused by certain types of bacteria, eye injuries like these can turn serious in less than 24 hours.
For this reason, it is vital to see a medical professional as soon as you suspect your eye is scratched. In extreme cases, corneal abrasions could even cause blindness.
Foreign objects in the eye
Of equal concern is when foreign objects become lodged in the surface of the eye. You should never attempt to rub your eye or remove the object yourself. Seek immediate emergency care to avoid serious long-term damage.
Eye injuries like this usually involve objects like small fragments of metal. These have the potential to cause serious infection or blindness if they are not removed by a professional. They are also concerning because metal objects can cause rust growth in the eye. Foreign objects not removed promptly can also cause serious scarring on the cornea.
Eye injuries involving chemical burns
Sometimes, eye injuries can be due to caustic substances entering the eye. This can cause extreme irritation or even long-term damage. Of course, the extent of damage depends on the nature of the chemical that entered the eye. Something as simple as soap or shampoo can fall under this category. It probably will not cause permanent damage, but many other substances can.
Most of the time, eye injuries from caustic substances happen because of something splashing into eyes. But they can also be transferred on hands or other objects. The first line of defense for injuries like these is washing your eyes thoroughly under running water.
However, that might be enough for some types of substances. In these cases, it’s best to contact your doctor to see what he or she recommends.
If you experience long-term or extreme eye redness or blurry vision, seek emergency medical care right away. This is, as always, the best way to make sure the damage does not become serious or permanent.
Black or swelling eyes are often the result of being struck on the eye by large objects like balls. Most of the time, eye injuries like these do not cause serious or long-term damage. But it is vital to seek professional medical care so that you know the extent of your injury.
Sometimes exterior swelling can also include interior damage, so it is important to have a thorough medical assessment as soon as possible.
Interior damage might mean internal bleeding, retinal detachment, or other serious injuries. If left untreated, these injuries could have extreme consequences for your vision and your long-term eye health.
One possible long-term consequence of a traumatic blunt force injury to the eye is traumatic iritis. This is a condition that affects the iris of the eye. The iris may suffer minor or extreme inflammation.
This inflammation can result in permanent total or partial vision loss. If you ever receive a traumatic injury to your eye because of blunt force, such as a punch or a baseball, you should seek out a medical assessment as soon as possible.
Often, the full extent of the damage from a hit to the eye is not immediately apparent. This is why it is important for a medical professional to examine the injury. They will be able to ascertain the severity of any wounds, both those on the surface and inside the eye.
Seeking prompt medical care is the best way to avoid serious long-term consequences for your vision, including permanent blindness.
Why it’s important to treat eye injuries as soon as possible
The bottom line is that, unless you are an optometrist, you probably will not be able to recognize the severity of an eye injury. Many eye injuries do not at first seem like they might be serious.
However, the eyes are delicate. For this reason, it is important not to take risks with your eye health. Neglecting to seek out medical care could mean a serious bacterial or fungal infection. It could also mean a loss of vision.
Medical professionals like those at New Jersey Eye Center in Bergenfield NJ can help you find a treatment for any kind of eye injury. Their care will ensure that your vision stays healthy after eye injuries, however serious.