What are eye injuries?
Eye injuries account for almost half of all ophthalmological emergencies and can affect any ocular structure (eyelids, cornea, crystalline lens, retina, optic nerve, eyeball, etc.), and require specialist handling in each case. They may vary in severity, from minor erosions or scratches on the surface of the eye to damage that could jeopardise the integrity of this organ and the eyesight.
In general, there are two main groups of eye injury:
- Mechanical injuries: either closed, such as bruises, or open wounds that might be due to a foreign body penetrating the eyeball and even perforating it or causing it to explode.
- Non-mechanical injuries: such as chemical burns (caused, for example, by cleaning products) or light or electrical trauma (produced by ultraviolet radiation, lasers, rays, etc.)
Symptoms may vary greatly depending on the type of injury and its location, bearing in mind that the most noticeable injuries are not necessarily the most severe. Therefore, the case of an injury, it is important to visit the emergency ophthalmology department where a specialist will perform a full eye examination to determine the true scale of the damage and direct the treatment more precisely.
The main concern following an accident involving the eye is that it might have after-effects on the eyesight. In fact, eye injuries are the main cause of a loss of visual acuity in youngsters, and it is estimated that over 25% of all severe cases might lead to blindness. However, if part of the clarity is still preserved after the injury and there has been no retinal detachment or perforation, tear or severe infection of the eyeball, this is encouraging for a better final visual prognosis if early and expert intervention is sought.
9 out of every 10 eye injuries could have been prevented with the appropriate protective measures, such as wearing glasses or screens, which we recommend whenever you perform activities that might involve a risk.
The main places where eye injuries often occur are at work and in the home, either when welding or doing DIY, or when the eye comes into contact with toxic products. After this are sporting and leisure activities (tennis and padel tennis, contact sports, paintball, fireworks, etc.), and traffic accidents.
Youngster are the most affected, especially those aged between 20 and 40.
In injuries requiring surgery, it is important not to delay the operation to avoid the development of greater complications, especially in the case of chemical burns, eye haemorrhages or suspected endophthalmitis (infection of the entire eye). As well as considering the surgery, ensuring the operation can be performed by an experienced ophthalmologist is also essential to obtain the best results.
The Miranza clinics have a medical team that specialises in different surgical techniques that might be required after an injury, depending on the eye structures affected. The approach to each case is unique and personalised, although the first step require normally involves repairing the wounds to re-establish the normal tone of the eyeball. We then remove any foreign bodies and any tissue that might be contaminated or that is no longer viable, before attempting to restore the eye’s normal anatomy.