Eye trauma (injury)

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Eye trauma (injury) (Disease)


A person with an eye injury has damage to the structures of the eye, caused by an injury. The injury may involve the globe, eye surface, lids, bone or skin around the eye. An eye foreign body and a corneal abrasion are two of the most common eye injuries.

Symptoms of an eye injury may include eye pain, swelling around the eye, eye redness, blood covering the surface of the eye, and the sensation that something is in the eye. Other symptoms include blurry vision, double vision, loss of vision, excessive tearing, and abnormal alignment of the eyes.

Causes and Risk factors

Physical or chemical injuries of the eye can be a serious threat to vision if not treated appropriately and in a timely fashion. The most obvious presentation of ocular (eye) injuries is redness and pain of the affected eyes. This is not, however, universally true, as tiny metallic projectiles may cause neither symptom. Tiny metallic projectiles should be suspected when a patient reports metal on metal contact, such as with hammering a metal surface.

Intraocular foreign bodies do not cause pain because of the lack of nerve endings in the vitreous humour and retina that can transmit pain sensations. As such, general or emergency room doctors should refer cases involving the posterior segment of the eye or intraocular foreign bodies to an ophthalmologist. Ideally, ointment would not be used when referring to an ophthalmologist, since it diminishes the ability to carry out a thorough eye examination.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment depends on the injury but may include: topical antibiotics, topical steroids, or surgery. ...