Women sitting at a desk, rubbing her eyes
Women sitting at a desk, rubbing her eyes

Eye Trauma

Eye trauma refers to damage caused by physical or chemical injuries to the eye. The trauma may affect not only the eye but the surrounding area as well—including adjacent tissue and bone structure. When the eye is hit with blunt force, it suddenly compresses and retracts. This can cause blood to collect underneath the injured area, which leads to many of the common symptoms of eye trauma.

There are many different forms of trauma, varying in severity from minor injuries (such as getting shampoo or dust in the eye) to medical emergencies. Even in cases where trauma seems minor, every eye injury should be given medical attention. DO NOT attempt to treat serious eye injuries yourself.

See Also: Children’s Eye Safety

Did You Know?

Roughly half of all eye injuries occur at home. To avoid preventable injury, take proper precautions and safety measures when engaging in the following activities:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Yardwork
  • Home improvement

Symptoms of Eye Trauma:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Cuts to the eyelid
  • Inconsistent or difficult eye movement
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Unusual pupil size or shape
  • Particles in the eye that can’t be easily removed by tears or blinking

Treatments for Eye Trauma

Every eye injury should be given medical attention. DO NOT touch, rub or try to remove any object from the eye. If the eye has been cut or there is an object in the eye:

  • Protect the eye by placing a protective shield—such as a paper cup—on the bone around the eye
  • Make sure you DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE on the eye itself
  • Seek immediate, professional medical attention

In minor cases of trauma, such as a black eye from a sports injury, gently applying a cold compress to the affected area can help bring swelling down and allow the affected area to heal faster. Many eye injuries are not immediately apparent, so even in cases where trauma seems minor, it’s wise to seek medical attention.

The best way to avoid eye trauma is to prevent it by using protective eyewear while performing activities that may put your eyes at risk.