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Ocular Trauma


Eye injuries can occur at any time. Our office is equipped to handle most eye injuries. The primary instrument we use is a biomicroscope, sometimes referred to as a slit lamp. The biomicroscope has a high magnification and is particularly designed to aid us in evaluating the extent of an eye injury. Whether it is a laceration, foreign particle embedded or a burn, the biomicroscope is the primary tool to carefully examination the injury.

Embedded Foreign Bodies

A common injury is a hot iron metallic foreign body embedded in the cornea. Grinding or drilling iron or other metals will release particles that are hot and when they hit the eye they embed themselves in the cornea. If it is iron, as in this example, it will immediately begin to rust due to the salty consistency of our tears. When the metal particle is removed, there is a remaining rust deposit that has infiltrated the surrounding cornea. We have experience at removing these rust spots. With proper medical treatment these injuries resolve well.

If the foreign particle was embedded in the central visual axis of the cornea, there may be a scar remaining which could affect the patients ultimate visual acuity. Safety glasses are always recommended to prevent these types of injuries.

Contusions or “Black eyes”

Contusions, otherwise referred to as a “black eye,” can result in more than just the obvious bruises on the face. They can cause orbital fractures leading to double vision, retinal detachments, retinal hemorrhages, corneal abrasions, conjunctival hemorrhages, and even acute glaucoma or cataracts.

Corneal Abrasions

A corneal abrasion is a scratch or cut on the front clear part of the eye, the cornea. This can happen due to injury, getting something in the eye, rubbing the eye, and many other causes. A corneal abrasion will be very painful, and the eye may become red and sensitive to light. Corneal abrasions need to be treated to insure that an infection does not develop and to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the abrasion.

Emergency Eye Care

If you have symptoms of “flashes of light” in your vision, when there is no light to explain the flashes, this could indicate a retinal detachment. The retina does not have any pain sensors, so flashes are your best clue that there is something wrong. In contrast, the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye), has more nerve pain sensors that any other part of the body. Injury to the cornea can be incredibly painful. However, in both cases, immediate treatment is needed. Our office staff is well trained to know how to expedite the treatment of these type of injuries. Call immediately when an injury occurs. We are here to help.