An estimated 2.4 million eye injuries occur in USA each year, a significant number of which lead to vision loss.1 A recent study had shown that working people and students most commonly suffer from eye injuries and that men are five times more frequently injured than women. Further, the most often causes of injury had been shown to be caused by pieces of wood, sharp objects and glass pieces.2 Although most chemical eye burns are mild injuries with no lasting adverse effects, severe injuries might lead to serious visual impairment.3
The symptoms of an injured eye may vary from a slow, gradual onset to a sudden problem and may include moderate-to-severe pain, swelling, decreased vision, photophobia (sensitivity to light), frontal headache, hyphema (blood in the anterior chamber), loss of anterior chamber depth or deviation of the pupil toward the laceration.
In the event of an eye injury, timely and appropriate eye care can prevent blindness. Although first aid is helpful, medical care must be obtained quickly, as it is difficult for a non-professional to know the extent of damage to the eye.
Most eye injuries are preventable, nevertheless, when an eye injury occurs, the following first aid can be given immediately:
For all eye injuries:
1.Brophy M, Sinclair SA, Hostetler SG, et al. Pediatric eye injury-related hospitalizations in the United States. Pediatrics. 2006; 117(6): e1263–1271.
2.Jovanović M. Mechanical injuries of the eyeball: frequency, structure, and possibility of the prevention. Srp Arh Celok Lek. 2006; 134(1-2): 11–21 (Article in Serbian).
3.Midelfart A, Hagen YC, Myhre GB. Chemical burns to the eye. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004; 124(1): 49–51 (Article in Norwegian).
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