According to statistics, 16.3% of eye injuries in adults result in visual disability. Moreover, most of these injuries are victims in the home. Failure to comply with safety regulations, accidents, poor eye protection when using chemicals and more. How to understand how dangerous the damage is and what to do immediately after the injury will tell MedAboutMe.
Superficial eye injury
Superficial injury to the eye refers to minor injuries. This means that with proper and, most importantly, timely treatment, you can not worry about loss of vision or other complications. Superficial damage affects the cornea or conjunctiva, may be accompanied by tissue rupture, internal hemorrhage.
Superficial injuries people get in the following situations:
- Contact with foreign bodies (midge, grain of sand, etc.).
- Rubbing the eyes, accidental scratching with a fingernail (very often in children, especially during allergic attacks).
- Long wearing contact lenses.
- Blow (for example, an injury to the eye can be obtained by hitting the face).
It is characteristic that the damage itself can be so small that it is not noticeable during a normal visual examination. But any, even a microscopic scratch, causes significant discomfort. A person experiences the following symptoms:
- Pain and pain in the eye.
- Redness of the cornea.
- Swelling of the eye.
- If the damage is in the center of the cornea, vision may be impaired.
In most cases, such injuries do not require long-term treatment – the symptoms disappear within a few hours, and vision quickly returns. If this does not happen, the eye still hurts after 3-4 hours, additional symptoms appear (for example, suppuration), you should immediately contact an ophthalmologist. The fact is that the most dangerous in superficial injuries are possible complications. Inflammation and necrosis of tissues that may develop due to inadequate treatment or lack of treatment, threaten deterioration or loss of vision.
Severe eye injury: contusion, burn and others
Dangerous injuries are well marked – they show pronounced hemorrhages, deformation of the eyeball, corneal clouding and so on. Among the most dangerous injuries:
- Penetrating eye injury.
Occurs when a large foreign body enters, which can touch the eye shell or get stuck in the vitreous body, the lens. The eye is bleeding, there is abundant tearing, severe photophobia.
- Contusion (bruised) eyes.
The main reason is a direct blow, at which gaps of different severity occur. A characteristic sign of such damage is a sharply dilated pupil – the result of increased intraocular pressure. The lens also suffers, and when bruised, it can be strongly pressed into the vitreous body, leading to impaired vision. The risk of retinal lesions is high – doctors often observe splitting and even tearing. If the vascular network is damaged, the eye swims with blood.
- Eye burns.
Damage to the structures of the eye occurs most often under the action of high temperatures and chemicals. The second type of injury is easy to get when using household chemicals in aerosols. Alkali is especially dangerous because its action lasts until it is completely removed. And this means that, having damaged the upper layers, the substance begins to corrode deeper-lying structures. One of the most severe types of burns is radiation (ultraviolet, infrared radiation). The rays easily pass through the cornea and damage the retina directly. At the same time, the effects of their effects are not immediately noticeable – only after 6-8 hours a person’s eyesight deteriorates, but the eye itself may look healthy (without redness, dimness, and so on).
First aid for eye injuries
Since most eye injuries are accompanied by pain and pain, a person, wishing to get rid of these symptoms, often exacerbates the initial damage by his actions. Therefore, it is important to remember that you should not do if the eyeball is damaged:
- Rub, scratch or press on the eye.
- If penetrating wounds, rinse eyes.
- Trying to get a foreign body stuck in the eye.
- In case of chemical burns, independently neutralize one substance with another (when alkaline, pour acid into the eye and vice versa).
- For penetrating injuries, use cotton wool. Her villi can get inside the eye. Bandages of cotton wool are used only with the eye closed (applied on the eyelid), if there is abundant bleeding.
First aid includes the following steps:
- Wash hands thoroughly and try to look around the eyes to understand the severity of the damage.
- If a migrating foreign body is detected (not stuck in the structure of the eye, for example, a grain of sand, eyelash, or midge), and the damage is minor, you can wash the eye with boiled water or bacterial drops. It is forbidden to touch the eyeball with a handkerchief, cotton buds, fingers, tongue, etc.
- After washing with boiled water, antibacterial drops can be dripped into the eye (Albucidine, Levomycetin).
- When a chemical solution comes in, the eyes are washed with a large amount of water for about half an hour. The only exception is quicklime, which under the action of water produces heat and enhances burn. Quick lime crystals are cleaned with a napkin whenever possible. In case of chemical burns, the use of any eye drops is prohibited.
- If a foreign object sticks out of the eye, it is important to prevent it from moving. For this, the eye can be closed with any frame. For example, a plastic or paper cup. The second healthy eye is covered with a hand or a bandage. As the eyeballs move at the same time, it reduces the risk of additional injury or displacement of the foreign body.
After the described manipulations need to urgently contact the emergency room. A victim with superficial injuries may consult a doctor if additional symptoms appear during the first hours or the condition of the eye does not improve.
Dangerous symptoms and complications
Even minor eye injuries can lead to dangerous consequences. A sign of recovery is the gradual disappearance of symptoms. So, rez and pain in case of surface damage they pass or decrease significantly after a couple of hours. The lacrimation gradually disappears, swelling subsides, photophobia and redness disappear.
Dangerous signs that may be indicative of the development of complications are:
- Itching and redness that occurred on the 2-3rd day after the injury.
- Suppuration of the eye.
- Visual impairment: tunnel vision, double vision.
- Corneal opacity.
- Extended pupil.
All these symptoms are indications for mandatory visits to an ophthalmologist and diagnosis of the nature of the injury.
Small injuries on the surface of the eye are easily infected, and this leads to bacterial lesions with inflammation and suppuration. For example, panophthalmitis (inflammation of all the membranes of the eye) may develop if the wound is improperly treated and even when the eyeball is examined with dirty hands. If the process is not stopped in time, surgical assistance may be required.
If the lens has been damaged, the lack of proper treatment can lead to its merging with the iris and deterioration or loss of vision. A characteristic sign of a complication is an irregular pupil.
Contusion can result in retinal detachment, tissue necrosis, glaucoma, and other problems. The most dangerous complication is the subatrophy of the eyeball, in which this organ gradually dies off.