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From the Mouths of Eye Doctors: the 4 Most Common Traumatic Eye Injuries

September 22, 2015 | By Christine Culgin
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From the Mouths of Eye Doctors: the 4 Most Common Traumatic Eye Injuries

Accidents happen all of the time, whether it’s just a bang on the head or a broken arm, traumas aren’t always avoidable. Every year there are millions of eye injuries resulting from trauma.  Some injuries are less severe, like an elbow to the eye, but some are more complicated, like a scratch to the eyeball. Any time there is traumatic damage to the eye, you should go to the eye doctor for a consultation on how to handle it. Here’s a breakdown of the top four most commonly reported eye injuries:

  1. Corneal Abrasion: Corneal abrasions are scrapes to the front of your eye (the cornea).  A lot like a scrape to the knee, a corneal abrasion can cause some pain, redness, and tearing in the eye. Because our eyes are so sensitive, the eye can be scratched by anything from dust or sand, to metal particles, or even by your contact lenses. Rinsing your eyes out with water can help treat your eye, and it should be healed within a couple of days.

  2. Foreign Object: A foreign object is something that enters your eye from outside of your body. Sometimes a piece of metal or plant matter can find its way onto the surface of the eye or in the eyelid folds. If this happens, you can feel pressure or discomfort, a little pain, and you may find yourself blinking excessively. If a small particle entered your eye, it can usually  be rinsed out with cold water, but a larger object would need special removal from an eye doctor.  

  3. Corneal Laceration: Corneal lacerations are cuts or slices to the eye, much like a papercut. Corneal lacerations are more serious than abrasions because they indicate that the front of the eye (cornea) has been cut through. This type of damage requires more serious medication depending on the depth of the laceration, and could even require surgery.

  4. Chemical Burn: Chemical burns can be caused by household items like cleaning supplies, gasoline, paint thinners, etc. If a chemical gets into your eye, it may result in redness, irritation, and eye pain. Rinsing the burn with cold water and taking over-the-counter painkillers can help treat the burn. Otherwise, it’s recommended to check in with your eye doctor to assess your eye.

Although cartoons might make traumas comedic, they aren’t always a laughing matter, especially traumas to the eye. If you’re experiencing a little pain or discomfort from something foreign entering your eye, you should always check with an eye doctor to evaluate the potential damage.




Topics: eye health


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