Signs & Symptoms of an Eye Injury

//Signs & Symptoms of an Eye Injury

Signs & Symptoms of an Eye Injury

There might be several instances when you’ve experienced swelling, redness, or pain in your eyes. 

Either due to trivial incidents, such as when irritants like shampoo entering the eye or extreme conditions such as foreign objects penetrating the eye – but how do you know if this has seriously damaged your eye? Or, has led to a serious eye injury?

Eye injuries can occur in various settings; inside the comfort of your home, at work or playing outdoor sports.

Not seeking immediate medical attention in some cases can also result in permanent vision loss.

Not all eye injuries require emergency care such as in the case of corneal abrasions that eventually heal within a few hours or days (a scratch on the frontal area of the eye; cornea) due to dust, dirt.

Recurrent corneal erosion occurs in less than 1 out of 100 people who have a minor eye injury, as reported by the National Institute of Health.

But if the nature of damage is serious or if the symptoms reappear, seeking immediate medical intervention is the next logical step.

Common symptoms include blurred vision, experiencing eye pain after waking up, sensitivity to light, etc.

Common Causes of Eye Injuries Include:

Though there are several types and causes of eye injuries, some of the more common causes would be a small piece of wood or metal getting stuck in the eye, or a direct blow to the eye with a ball or a fist while playing sports.

The redness or pain in the eye is a result of the swollen uvea (the middle layer of the eye) – such an injury is referred to as traumatic uveitis.

Some of the serious and less common eye injuries include ocular chemical burn which occurs when the eyes are exposed to toxic chemicals or caused by a deep eye cut also known as eye laceration (much more severe than corneal abrasion).

How Are Eye Injuries Diagnosed?

Regular eye examinations are vital to maintaining vision health and for the early detection of any signs of visual impairment, regardless of an eye injury.   

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation

What’s more worrisome is that around 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace annually, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Keeping the above into consideration, stressing on the importance of eye protection is never enough. There needs to be more emphasis on regular eye examinations for early detection and treatment of an eye injury.  

An ophthalmologist or an optometrist will examine your eyes and may inquire about any potential symptoms. Some of the common practices include:

  • Examining the eyes for any swelling, redness, bleeding or bruises.

  • Assessing the reaction of pupils when exposed to light (bigger or smaller) as well as monitoring the movement.

  • Finding any abnormalities in the eyeball as well as the surrounding structure including bones and muscles.

  • Detecting any foreign objects in the eye.

  • Testing your eyesight through a comprehensive eye examination using special equipment.

  • The eye specialist may conduct a detailed examination in case of an injury using X-rays, ultrasounds, or MRI scans.

Symptoms of an Eye Injury

Though the symptoms and their effects vary mostly according to the type and severity of the injury. 

However, as symptoms (minor or major) start to appear or become visible, refrain from any delay while seeking medical advice from an eye specialist.  

Like mentioned before the effects of an eye injury either appear suddenly or develop over time. Some of the most common signs are mentioned below:

  • Pain: Conditions in which the eye’s hurt, specifically when opening or closing. when you try to close, open or move it.

  • Sensitivity to touch: Experiencing pain when the eye is touched.

  • Swelling: Affecting not just the eyeball, but eyelids and sometimes even the face.

  • Bruising: Signs of any bruises in any part of the eye or surrounding area.

  • Redness: The surface of the eye appearing red due to swelling or dilated blood vessels.

  • Changes in Vision: Such as seeing floating black spots or flashes of light distorting the vision.

  • Eye movement issues: Unable to move the eyes easily and experiencing pain when doing so, either with one eye or both.

  • Bleeding: Cases when small red spots are visible in the eye or in the case of a bloodshot eye.

  • Blurred vision: Visual impairment such as eye floaters, blurred or double vision.

  • Sensitivity to light: When extreme light levels such as brightness cause discomfort.

  • Eye deformity: If one eye is disproportionate or not aligned with the other.

  • Other deformities: In case an eye shows an unusual pupil size or shape.

  • Watery Eyes: Conditions where there is an overflow of tears or a blockade underneath the eye.

Though these are just some of the common symptoms of an eye injury, most of these also apply to severe symptoms of blunt eye trauma. 

An extreme condition indicates the occurrence of a critical injury. This may include, iris (the colored part of the eye) covered with blood, any vision changes such as blurred vision, difficulty with eye movements, etc. 

Another severe case of an injury also includes chemical burn, which occurs after being exposed to hazardous chemicals which cause intense pain, swelling of the eyelid, blurred vision, etc. 

Eye bleeding due to eye injury

In such cases, it’s common to develop a black eye which is caused by blood pooling inside the eye which may persist for several weeks.

Benefits of Appropriate Eye Protection

Putting the popular proverbial saying: “prevention is better than cure” into practice. 

It’s no secret that taking minor precautions can go a long way, to avoid any risks that may damage the eye.

Remember the eye is one of the most sensitive organs of the body and if not protected properly, can result in far-reaching consequences,  

Eye protection not only reduces the chances of an eye injury or trauma but can also aid in reducing the severity of an eye injury in unavoidable circumstances.  

Workplace related injuries as discussed above are common, regardless of which sector you’re working in such as construction, mining, manufacturing – where workers have a high risk of encountering eye injuries. 

Thus, organizations should incorporate mandatory occupational health and safety regulations. 

It is also important to determine what qualifies as effective eye protection and not confuse normal spectacle lenses as effective eye protection. 

Though advancements in technology and design are paving the way for more effective eye protection, there is also a dire need to bring legislation and public advocacy programs to improve compliance standards, which could bring a drastic reduction in occupational eye injuries. 

By |2021-11-26T08:20:05+00:00November 4th, 2021|Tags: , , , |

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