CORNEA – TRAUMA

The cornea, as the most anterior structure of the eye, is exposed to various hazards ranging from airborne debris to blunt trauma of sufficient force to disrupt the globe itself. The trauma may be physical or chemical in the form of acids or alkalies. As a result, corneal injury may assume multiple forms and clinical presentations. Because the cornea is also the major refracting surface of the eye, even minor changes in its contour result in significant visual problems.

THE CAUSES

Trauma may be:

  • Mechanical – caused by blunt objects or by sharp objects
  • Chemical – caused by acids, alkalies or other chemicals
  • Thermal – caused by intense heat or rarely cold
  • Radiation – caused by radioactive substances

SYMPTOMS

It is an emergency. The symptoms, in general include:

  • Cloudy, foggy, filmy or blurry vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Glare
  • Watering

TREATMENT

A complete history of the event leading to the injury is a key component of the evaluation of a patient with corneal trauma.

Bandage contact lenses or antibiotics alone may offer advantages over patching in the setting of corneal abrasion.

In the setting of a partial thickness corneal flap, a contact lens may be sufficient.

A full thickness injury necessitates immediate repair in the setting of an operation theatre.

One must search for intraocular foreign bodies which may be inside the eye.

One should beware of possible secondary infectious or chemical complications with vegetable or insect corneal foreign-body injury.

EXPLORE FAQS

WILL MY EYE BECOME NORMAL AFTER TREATMENT?

In early cases, the eye may assume near normal functioning after treatment. But in advanced cases, the damage is often irreversible and some loss of vision may occur, requiring more advanced management strategies to cope with this damage.

SHOULD I WAIT FOR IT TO RESOLVE ON ITS OWN, OR TAKE A QUICK DECISION?

Ocular trauma is a medical emergency. A delay in treatment can drastically affect final outcome. Emergency treatment is recommended without any delay.

THE EYE LOOKS NORMAL FROM OUTSIDE. THE INJURY WAS DUE TO A BLUNT OBJECT. DO I NEED TO WORRY?

Even though there may be no visible damage, there often is internal damage to the eye due to the force of the blunt object. It is mandatory to assess the eye completely to rule out any internal damage which may require management to prevent irreversible loss of vision.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE AFTER SURGERY?

Eye Injury is a serious issue requiring close follow up and very strict adherence to instructions by the doctor. You will need regular follow up, and will have to take a lot of care to prevent further injury to eye, to ensure cleanliness of the eye, and to ensure that the necessary medications are instilled in a timely and hygienic fashion.

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