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Eye Injury Overview And Facts

Jul 22, 2008
Eye injuries range from the very minor, such as getting soap in your eye, to the catastrophic, resulting in permanent loss of vision.

Chemical exposures and burns often the result of a splash of liquid getting in the eye, a chemical burn can occur in a number of ways. Many chemicals, such as soap, sunscreen, and even tear gas, are primarily irritants to the eye and do not usually cause permanent damage. However, acids and alkalis are highly caustic and can cause severe damage.

Acids (such as sulfuric acid found in car batteries) or alkalis (such as lye found in drain cleaner and ammonia) can splash into your eyes.

Rubbing your eye can transfer chemicals from the skin on the hands to your eye.

Aerosol exposure is another method and can include such chemicals as Mace, tear gas, pepper spray, or hair spray.

Corneal abrasions the cornea can be thought of as special, transparent skin that covers the eye. A corneal abrasion is, in effect, a scratch or an abrasion of that specialized skin. People with corneal abrasions often report that they were "poked" in the eye, often from a finger or a tree branch.

Traumatic iritis this type of injury can occur in the same way as a corneal abrasion. It is also associated with a blow to the eye from a more blunt object, such as a fist or a club. The iris is the colored part of the eye. It is actually a muscle that controls the amount of light that enters the eye through the pupil. Iritis simply means that the iris is inflamed.

Hyphemas and orbital blowout fractures these injuries are associated with significant force from a blunt object to the eye and surrounding structures. Examples would be getting hit in the face with a baseball or getting kicked in the face.

Hyphemas are the result of bleeding in the eye that occurs in the front part of the eye, called the anterior chamber. This is the space between the cornea and the iris.

Orbital blowout fractures are cracking or breaks of the facial bones surrounding the eye.

Lacerations (cuts) to the eyelids and the conjunctiva (mucous membranes), these injuries commonly occur from sharp objects but can also occur from a fall.

Lacerations to the cornea and the sclera these injuries are very serious and are frequently associated with blunt trauma of flying objects.

Foreign bodies in the eye, generally, a foreign body is a small piece of metal, wood, or plastic filing. It could be anything that gets into the eye.

Corneal foreign bodies are embedded in the cornea and have not penetrated the eye itself. Metal foreign bodies in the cornea can cause a rust stain, which also requires treatment.

Intraorbital foreign bodies are in the orbit (or eye socket) but have not penetrated the eye.

Intraocular foreign bodies are injuries in which the globe of the eye has been penetrated by the object.

Ultraviolet keratitis (or corneal flash burn), the most common light-induced trauma to the eye is ultraviolet keratitis, which can be thought of as a sunburn to the cornea. Sources of damaging ultraviolet light are arc welders, tanning booths, and the sun.
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