Eye injuries range from minor or severe, often resulting in various injuries to the front of the eye, the back of the eye, and structures surrounding the eyelid.
Seven Types of Eye Injuries and Symptoms
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) statistics report approximately 2.4 million eye injuries every year in the United States. Eye injuries can range from minor to severe, even resulting in blindness in certain types of injuries. Reports from AAO show that at least 1 million people have suffered some type of vision loss due to an eye injury. Most often, eye injuries are caused by sports and athletic activities, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, chemical exposure, and foreign objects. Common types of eye injuries include:
The Front of the Eye
The front part of the eye includes the eyelid, cornea, lens, iris, conjunctiva, and sclera. Common injuries to this area include:
- Corneal Abrasions – Corneal abrasions are scratches to the surface of the eyeball. Symptoms include pain, redness, aches, and sensitivity to light.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage – This condition is caused by a ruptured blood vessel between the conjunctiva and sclera. It causes leakage of blood into the eye, swelling, and impaired vision.
- Hyphema – Hyphema is caused by bleeding in the space between the cornea and the iris. Symptoms include eye pain, nausea, blurred or impaired vision, and headaches.
The Back of the Eye
The back of the eye includes the optic nerve and the retina. Common injuries to this area include:
- Detached Retinas – Partial or complete tears cause the retina to separate from the back of the eye. Symptoms include eye pain and sudden loss of vision. Retinal detachments must be repaired through surgery.
- Traumatic Iritis – An inflammation of either the iris, uvea, or both. This condition is usually the result of blunt trauma to the eye or chemical exposure. Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, itching, and impaired vision.
Structures of the Eye
Common injuries to structures of or around the eye include:
- Orbital Fractures – The bone of the eye socket is injured due to trauma to the face. Orbital fracture symptoms include severe pain, blurred, decreased, or double vision, and severe headaches.
- Black Eyes – Black eyes or bruises around the eyes and eyelids are caused by injuries to the eyes, face, or head. Injuries cause blood to leak into the skin causing discoloration, swelling, and pain.