This information has been prepared as a service to our patients. It is not meant to act as a substitute for individual medical advice for specific patients.
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Serious eye injuries could require immediate treatment or surgery to prevent permanent eye damage resulting in vision loss. However, minor surface scratches, on the other hand, may need only simple monitoring after an initial visit to the eye specialist to make sure complications such as eye infections do not occur.
This is a guide to common eye injuries, developed to help you determine the next immediate and appropriate step following an accident, especially if you are in an emergency situation. Remember also that common sense safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles or shatter proof glasses if you indulge in high velocity sports, or activities such as carpentry or mechanical work may be your best approach to preventing eye injuries altogether and maintaining healthy vision for a lifetime.
Hyphemas and Orbital Blowout Fractures
A hyphema is bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye, the space between the cornea which is the front covering of the eye and the iris. This is seen like a layer of blood in front of the iris or colored portion of the eye. Orbital blowout fractures are cracks or breaks in the facial bones surrounding and protecting the eye.
Hyphemas and blowout fractures are serious eye injuries and medical emergencies. They are caused by significant blunt force trauma to the eye and face, such as getting hit by a bat, baseball, hockey stick, elbow or getting kicked in the face. The eye must be examined in detail as additional injury is often present and a decision must be made as to what treatment is needed. This treatment is individualized and needs to be decided upon by the examining eye specialist.