Eye injuries can occur at any time and our office is equipped to handle most eye injuries. We use specialized equipment including microscopes to examine and treat the eye in an appropriate way. Whether it is a laceration, a foreign body, blunt force trauma, or a burn we have the tools to carefully examine and treat the injury.
Superficial or Embedded Foreign Bodies
A common injury is when a small piece of metal gets into the eye. These particles are often very small but when get into the cornea (the most sensitive part of the eye) it can be extremely painful. This injury happens when drilling or grinding metal, usually iron or steel. If it is iron it will immediately begin to rust due to the salty consistency of our tears. When the metal is removed, there is a remaining rust deposit that must be removed with a special tool. With proper medical treatment these injuries will resolve well. We encourage all our patients that work with metal to use a face shield as well as safety glasses while working. We can help you find safety glasses if you don’t have any, we can even include your prescription into the lenses if needed.
Contusions, otherwise referred to as a “black eye,” can result in more than just the obvious bruises on the face. Often the retina, the light sensing layer inside the eye, can also experience trauma. When the retina is involved it can bleed or even come loose, we call this a retinal detachment. Retinal detachments can cause blindness if not properly treated in a short amount of time. If an eye has undergone any amount of trauma it’s important to have a dilated eye exam to rule out damage to the tissue and/or retinal detachment.
Retinal detachment can happen for many reasons including trauma described above, however, they can also happen for no apparent reason. If you were experiencing a retinal detachment you would not feel pain because the retina is 100% devoted to sensing light, it has no pain sensing cells at all. The symptoms you may have would be flashes of light in your vision, a shower of new floaters, or perhaps an area of your eye that you cannot see out of. If these symptoms occur they need immediate evaluation. If this were to happen to you call us and let the person answering the phone know, they are trained to get you an immediate appointment for evaluation. If a retinal detachment is discovered surgical intervention is the only treatment.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage happens when small vessels in the white of the eye break. This process is similar to a bruise on your skin, although it looks more scary on the eye. There are many things that can cause this to occur and we will work with you to discover the underlying cause. Most of the time the eye will heal after a few days but, as it heals it can change color, much like a bruise does as it fades.