Types Of Eye Injuries: Expectations vs. Reality

Types Of Eye Injuries

Today’s topic is – Types of eye injuries! Trauma refers to any injury to the eye either accidental or intentional. It remains a major cause of blindness and morbidity to the eye worldwide.

Though trauma can occur due to various types of  eye injuries sustained during birth, domestic work and in sports, the most common type is occupational injury, either agricultural or industrial

Types of Eye Injuries:

The types of injuries are classified by the nature of the traumatic agent as follows:

  1. Mechanical
  2. Physical
  3. Scalds due to hot liquids
  4. Chemical

01. Mechanical:

  • Blunt injury, for example, caused by a fist or ball
  • Perforating/Penetrating injury caused by sharp instruments
  • Explosive injury; for example, a gunshot injury

02. Physical:

  • Thermal injury
  • Flame burns

03. Scalds due to hot liquids:

  • Radiation injury
  • Electrical Injury

04. Chemical:

  • Acid burns
  • Alkali burns

The eye is normally well protected by the bony cavity called the orbit and the eyelids.

An injury can affect any part of the eye and the orbit in the following ways:

  • The orbital wall can fracture; the wall nearer to the nose is the weakest and most likely to give way. The inferior wall can fracture, trapping the eyeball below.
  • The eyelids may tear. Blood may collect around the eyelids forming a so-called ‘raccoon eye’.
  • The conjunctiva may tear or blood may collect under it forming a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
  • The cornea may collect in the anterior chamber and this condition is called hyphema.
  • The iris may get damaged or torn from the root.
  • The lens may get damaged and develop a cataract either immediately or over a period of time. Sometimes the lens can be knocked out of its position—called dislocation.
  • There may be bleeding in the vitreous cavity.
  • The retina may get damaged resulting in tears, inflammation or retinal detachment.
  • Damage to the optic nerve may permanently disable vision

Management of Eye Injuries

take care of eyes

The first step in the management of eye injuries is to remove the person from the source of the injury to a relatively safe place. If the person is unconscious, stabilization of his general status takes priority over looking for eye injuries.

There should not be any undue pressure over the eyeball. In cases of dust or chemicals falling in the eye, the eye must be washed with plenty of water.

If there is bleeding from the eye, gentle pressure is applied with a clean, wet piece of cloth and the person should be taken to an eye care professional quickly.

All forms of ocular trauma require an ophthalmologist to look for immediate and delayed ocular complications. The injured person may require x-rays, CT scan or MRI to identify damage to bones and soft tissue.

An ultrasound scan may be needed to see the state of the retina or to locate foreign bodies if the media is not clear.

Foreign bodies on fete corneal surface have to be removed with a needle or cotton spud after anesthetizing the eye with eye drops.

A corneal tear needs to be sutured if there is any leakage of aqueous humour through it. Traumatic cataract may need surgery to restore vision depending on the location and density of the opacity.

More serious complications like retinal detachment or vitreous hemorrhage may need surgery to reposition the retina or remove the blood.

Foreign bodies lodged inside the eye may also require surgical removal. Conditions like subconjunctival hemorrhage require only an antibiotic and observation as they resolve on their own, in a matter of weeks.


Most work-related trauma is preventable and every effort should be made to prevent them. Precautions and adequate safety measures are compulsory especially in high-risk areas like industries and sports.

 Some of these preventive measures are listed below:

  • Wearing a protective glass shield or visor, a helmet and spectacles are some simple measures which can prevent most accidents.
  • Education and training workshops for industrial workers and agriculturists to teach them the right way of handling ocular injuries is the need of the hour.
  • Even minor injuries should be investigated, and an ophthalmologist’s role in ocular trauma cannot be overemphasized.

What to do in Injury:

  • Do not allow rubbing of the eyes.
  • In case of fall of dust, mud, chemicals etc., immediately one should pour lot of clean water into the affected eye for a few minutes.
  • Put a soft patch in the eye.
  • Do not neglect any form of eye injuries, bring the child to the doctor as early as possible.

For Holi:

  • The commonly used synthetic colors are actually chemicals. They contain heavy metals like lead, which is harmful to the eyes and skin.
  • The particles in color powders (shining mica particles in gulal) can cause damage to the cornea.
  • The balloons used by children during Holi are most dangerous and can cause blunt eye injury. There can be bleeding within the eye, lens subluxation, macular edema or retinal detachment. All these can lead to the loss of vision or loss of the eye

Safety tips for Holi:

  • Avoid synthetic colors and use home-made colors
  • Water-colour balloons should not be used at all
  • If any color goes in the eye, splash a lot of tap water in it
  • Avoid self-medication in case of eye-injury. Rush to your eye-specialist. Ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from colored water.
  • While washing off the color, use lukewarm water and keep your eyes tightly closed.

Prevention in DIWALI:

  • Adults must supervise children at all times
  • Do not use unfamiliar firecrackers
  • Wear protective eyewear
  • Practice safety while lighting crackers do not try to be foolishly daring Diwali: First Aid for Injuries

Eye Injury:

Eye injury is the part of “Prevention in DIWALI”

  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Use the corner of a soft clean cloth to draw particles out, or hold the eyelids open and flush the eyes continuously with water.
  • If a particle is large or stuck in the eye, do not attempt to remove it.
  • Keep eyes closed and go to the eye doctor immediately. If there is any chemical that has entered the eyes, immediately irrigate the eyes and under the eyelids, with water, for 30 minutes.
  • Seek an eye doctor immediately.


Burns is the also part of “Prevention in DIWALI”

  • Rinse the burnt area, without scrubbing it, and immerse it in cold water; do not use ice water.
  • Blot the area dry and cover it using sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
  • If chemical burn then flush the exposed area with cool water immediately for 15 to 20 minutes

Related Blog: How Does the Eye Work Properly? Full Blog Here…


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