Eye trauma refers to damage caused by a direct blow to the eye. The trauma may affect not only the eye, but the surrounding area, including adjacent tissue and bone structure.

There are many different forms of trauma, varying in severity from minor injury to medical emergencies. Even in cases where trauma seems minor, every eye injury should be given medical attention.

What Causes Eye Trauma?

When the eye is hit with blunt force, it suddenly compresses and retracts. This can cause blood to collect underneath the hit area, which leads to many of the common symptoms of eye trauma.

Symptoms of Eye Trauma

Symptoms of eye trauma may include:

  • Pain
  • Trouble seeing
  • Cuts to the eyelid
  • One eye not moving as well 
  • One eye sticks out
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Unusual pupil size or shape
  • Something embedded in the eye
  • Something under the eyelid that cannot be easily removed

Treatments for Eye Trauma

Every eye injury should be given medical attention; do not touch, rub or try to remove any object in the eye. If the eye has been cut or there is an object in the eye, rest a protective shield – such as a paper cup – on the bone around your eye. Make sure there is no pressure on the eye itself. Seek immediate, professional medical attention.

In minor cases of trauma, such as a black eye from a sports injury, applying cold to the affected area can help bring swelling down, and allow the affected area to heal faster. However, even in cases where trauma seems minor, every eye injury should be given medical attention.

The best way to avoid eye trauma is to prevent it by using protective eyewear while doing things that may put them at risk. Activities include home repair, yard work, cleaning, cooking, and playing sports. In most cases of injury, people report not properly protecting their eyes – which shows that proper precautions may prevent an eye injury.


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