Examination in Eye Trauma
Eye injuries can occur at any time. Our office is equiped to handle most eye injuries. The primary instrument we use is a biomicroscope, sometimes referred to as a “slit lamp”. The biomicroscope has high magnification and is particularly designed to aid us in evaluating the extent of an eye injury. Whether it is an abrasion, foreign particle on the eye, or a chemical or thermal burn, the biomicroscope is the primary tool to carefully examine the injury.
Embedded Foreign Bodies
A common injury is a hot iron metalic foreign body embedded in the cornea. Grinding or drilling in steel or other metals will release particles that are hot and when they hit the eye they embed themselves in the cornea. If it is steel, as in this example, it will immediatley begin to rust due to the salty consistency of our tears. When the metal particle is removed, there is a remaining rust deposit that has infiltrated the surrounding cornea. We have experience at removing these rust spots. With proper medical treatment these injuries resolve well.
Untreated or delayed treatment of corneal foreign bodies can result in permanent scarring and loss of clarity of vision. Safety glasses are always recommended to prevent these type of injuries when a potential exists to have the eye hit with a flying object.
Blows (Contusions) to the Eye and Face
Contusions, otherwise referred to as a “black eye” can result in more than just the obvious bruises on the face and eyelids. The retina is the nerve tissue that senses light which lines the back of the eye. A blow to the eye or face near the eye can cause this layer to bleed or break loose. A thorough examination of the back of the eye is merited with such an injury.
Chemical Burns of the Eye
If a chemical poison or toxin gets onto the surface of the eye, the most important first thing to do is to go immediately to a water source and thoroughly rinse the eye for over 10 minutes continuously. This will dilute the offending agent before it can fully absorb into the eye. This will dramatically reduce the severity of the damage. After that, call for prompt follow-up with our office or the nearest emergency medical facility for additional treatment.
If you have symptoms of “flashes of Light” in your vision, when there is no actual light flashing in the area to explain the flashes, you may be experiencing a retinal detachment. The retina of the eye does not have any pain sensors so flashes are your best clue that there is something wrong. Prompt correction of this condition could save the eye from permanent vision loss.
Surface Eye Trauma / Eye Pain
In contrast the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye) has more nerve pain sensors than any other part of the body. Injury to the cornea can be incredibly painful. Most conditions causing eye pain tend to be serious and need to be investigated by our doctors quickly.
Our office staff is well trained to know how to expedite the treatment of these type of injuries. Call immediately when an injury occurs. We are here to help.
For emergencies call us at 253-845-8215.
Our office is open five days a week and accepts major medical insurance as well as Medicare. We are accessible after hours for eye emergencies on our phone messaging service.