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Eye Injuries

Eye Injuries

The year is 1812. In a small village in France, a three year old boy is playing in his father’s harness shop. His father steps outside the shop to help a customer. The curious little lad is eager to try his hands at his father’s tools and tries to punch a hole in a piece of leather just like him. But how much strength can a three year old’s hands have? The tool slips from his hands and flies into his left eye. A few days and an infection later, the lad has lost both his eyes. This eye injury changed his life forever and that of millions the world over…

What are Eye Injuries?

Though the structure of your face has been designed so as to prevent injury to your eyes, injuries to your eyes may still occur at work, home, while playing certain sports or due to other accidents. Eye injuries can vary from minor issues like getting soap in your eyes to serious injuries that result in permanent loss of vision.

 

 

What causes Eye Injuries?

• Chemical Burns: Chemical burns can be caused by acids or alkalis splashing in your eyes(like sulphuric acid from car batteries), rubbing chemicals from the skin of your hands into your eyes or by aerosol exposure (like hair spray, tear gas, pepper spray etc.)
• Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This is blood on the surface of the sclera (the white of your eye) and is contained by the conjunctiva (outermost transparent membrane of your eye).
• Corneal Abrasions: This is a scratch on your cornea (the outer transparent tissue on your eye’s front surface) and is usually seen when you get poked in the eye by a fingernail, toy or tree branch.
• Traumatic Iritis: It is an inflammation of the iris (the coloured part of your eyes) due to a blunt injury like a fist or a car airbag.
• Hyphemas: These are due to bleeding in the front section of the eye called the anterior chamber.
• Orbital blowout fractures: These are breaks in the facial bones surrounding your eye.
• Lacerations are cuts to the various parts of your eye due to sharp objects.
• Solar Retinopathy: Damage to your retina can occur due to staring at the sun or viewing solar eclipses
• Ultraviolet Keratitis: Welders, tanning booths, or UV light reflected by snow or water or sun burns especially at higher altitudes can cause damage to your cornea.
• Foreign bodies like small pieces of metal, wood or plastic filing can also cause eye injuries.

What are the signs and symptoms of Eye Injuries?

Depending on the injury, there may be pain, intense blurring, redness, swelling of eyelids, sensation of there being something in the eye, sensitivity to light and tearing.

How are Eye Injuries tested?

Visual Acuity Testing
Corneal testing using Fluorescein dye
Slit Lamp examination
Xrays for testing fractures

What is the treatment for Eye Injuries?

First aid at home:
For chemical exposures, wash out your eye with large amounts of water for 20 minutes keeping your eyelids open using saline solution or regular tap water.

 

 

Avoid rubbing your eyes.
Do not take aspirin for pain, as this will increase your bleeding.
Apply cold compresses intermittently for black eyes.

Medical Treatment:

Your doctor may prescribe eye patches, antibiotic ointments, eye drops to dilate your pupil and pain medicines depending on your injury.
Stitches for lacerations and surgical repair for orbital fractures may be necessary.

How do I prevent Eye Injuries?

Wear safety glasses whenever using drills, saws, hammers or mixing chemicals.

 

 

Face masks or welder’s goggles should be used when using a welder.

When using a tanning booth, use eye coverings.

Do not rub your eyes.

Do not look into the sun directly. Use good quality sunglasses when outdoors.

Curious to know who the 3 year old was? It was none other than Louis Braille, the inventor of the system of writing in raised dots for the blind.