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Updated on January 19, 2021

Types of Eye Injury

There are a few types of common eye injuries which can be caused by sharp edge objects, welding, grinding, chemical and blow-out fracture.   All these injuries NEED to be seen by an eye doctor for treatment.

Click NextClinica video on Corneal Abrasion

Corneal Abrasion

This is the most common eye injury and is caused by any object with a sharp edge (such as make-up brushes, fingernail, leaf, stick or paper) which can scrape the skin (called the epithelium) of the cornea (see above). The patient will suffer symptoms of pain, discomfort, feeling of something in the eye, watering, blurred vision and light sensitivity.  This must be treated EARLY to prevent secondary infection which can progress into a corneal ulcer.

The eye may need to be padded with an antibiotic ointment for the first 1-2 days and then antibiotic medication 2-6 times a day for at least 1-2 weeks.  The epithelium usually takes between 7 to 14 days to heal completely depending on the size and location of the abrasion.  There is a risk of the abrasion to recur again ( a condition called corneal erosion) and as such, it is advisable to continue using an eye ointment on a nightly basis for at least 3-6 months to prevent it.

Corneal Foreign Body

During welding or grinding, there are lots of debris and sparks emitted which can easily hit the eye. As the velocities of these particles are generally slow, they do not penetrate the eye but gets embedded onto the cornea (see above). They cause pain, watering and redness in the eye.

The particles need to be removed or else they will get infected. Even after removal, there will always be a scar at the injury site.  You will be given an eye pad and antibiotic eye medication for around 7-10 days to allow the injury to heal and prevent infection.

Chemical Injury

Fluids used in any industry as either acid or alkali. Both are damaging to the eye and the higher the concentration, the more severe the injury. Even toilet cleaner or household bleach can cause severe damage to the eye and should be kept away from young children.

The affected eye must be irrigated immediately with clean running water for at least 5 minutes to wash away as much chemical as possible. The patient has to be admitted to a hospital to allow the eye doctors to apply medication, lubrication and vitamins to encourage the eye to heal. Sometimes in very severe cases, the scarring is so extensive that patients may not regain their vision.

Blow-out Fracture

When a blunt trauma (such as a punch or tennis ball) is of sufficient strength, the impact can cause the orbital floor to fracture. Some fractures can cause one of the eye muscles to be trapped resulting in the eye not being able to move fully causing double vision.  Surgery may required to repair the fracture and free up the eye muscle.

Prevention of eye injury can save unnecessary suffering. People working in hazardous conditions must remember to wear their protective goggles at all times while welders must wear their masks. Sportsman can now choose from a variety of protective eyewear which offers protection and yet remains stylish to prevent accidental injury to their eyes.

Remember, prevention is better than cure.  Speak to your Optician / Optometrist about protective eyewear

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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