Eye Conditions and Treatment

Eye Trauma is treated in the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Faculty Practice

Eye Trauma

Injuries involving the eyelids can be serious because the eyelids protect the eyes and keep them moist.  A black eye results from blood collecting beneath the loose skin of the eyelids. The tear ducts, which lead from the eyes to the nose, may also be damaged by trauma to the eyelid. Injury to the tear duct interrupts the normal drainage of tears.

A common eye injury requiring medical care is a scrape of the outer surface of the eye known as a corneal abrasion.  Fingernails, contact lenses, and paper edges frequently cause abrasions. Corneal abrasion may also be caused by airborne particles that strike the eye during drilling, hammering, or working with cars.

Chemical burns; damage can be minor and temporary (e.g., from hair spray) or severe and possibly blinding (e.g., from alkalis and acids). Many household products, such as drain and floor cleaners, contain alkali and should be used with extreme caution and be kept out of the reach of children. The leading cause of acid burns is an exploding car battery.

Blunt trauma occurs when the eye is struck with a finger, fist, racket, tennis ball, or other solid object. Such injuries produce damage to the eye as a result of the sudden compression and indentation of the globe that occurs at the moment of impact.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Eyelid Trauma
    • Swelling
  • Corneal Abrasion
    • Very painful
  • Chemical Burns
    • Burning sensation in and around the eye
    • Loss of vision
  • Blunt Trauma
    • Bleeding may occur in the front of the eye between the clear cornea and colored iris, a condition referred to as a hyphema
    • The normally clear lens may also be damaged. It may turn cloudy, thus forming a cataract that blocks light from getting to the back of the eye, or it may be displaced within the eye so that is can no longer focus a clear image.

Treatment and Prevention

  • Eyelid Trauma
    • Surgical repair
  • Corneal Abrasion
    • Evaluation under a special microscope
    • Removal of the foreign body (if present)
    • Instillation of antibiotics
    • Patching of the eye
    • Close observation of the eye at regular intervals is then necessary to monitor for infection
  • Chemical Burns
    • Immediate irrigation for ten minutes with any neutral fluid available (e.g., water or soda pop)
    • Emergency medical care should be sought at once

Eye Facts logo linkFor a deeper understanding of the diagnosis and treatment plan for eye trauma, see Trauma to the Eye Eye Facts.