Oculoplastic Surgery – Orbital Trauma – Pediatric & Adult
Nearly half a million eye injuries occur every year. Car accidents, athletic injuries, gunshot wounds, fireworks mishaps, and direct blows can all injure and damage the delicate tissues and structures around the eyes. The muscles that control eyelid or eye movement can be damaged, and even the tear ducts can be affected. Acting quickly can help minimize the risk of long-term damage or disability. Treatment options will depend on the type and extent of the injury.
Blunt force trauma, such as that caused by a fall from a bicycle or a fight, can break the orbital bones, or the bony socket that protects and supports the eye. While orbital trauma can affect a person’s appearance, the vision can also be affected. The patient may experience double vision, painful eye movements, or loss of vision. Treatment may need to be delayed if swelling is significant.
This type of injury is common in pediatric eye injuries. Pediatric traumas can vary widely and can occur when a child is hit in the face with a ball, suffers lacerations from sticks or pieces of glass, or experiences corneal scratches from small objects or debris scratching the corneal surface. Each of these injuries can lead to permanent vision loss if not properly diagnosed and treated.
Other common injuries include penetrating and perforating trauma. Penetrating injuries are common in car accidents and certain types of workplace or construction accidents. The internal structure of the eye can become prolapsed, and vision can be impaired. Perforating trauma is one of the most severe types of eye injuries and can lead to both disfigurement and disability. This type of injury involves both an entrance and an exit wound.
Regardless of the type of eye injury, restoring function is a priority, but preserving the appearance of the face is also important. Fast treatment along with plastic or reconstructive surgery when necessary can help reduce the risk of permanent disfigurement and vision impairments. Many times, treatment can consist of supportive measures, stabilizing the eye, and medications, including steroids or antibiotics. However, in some cases, the trauma is severe enough that an artificial eye must be placed. While vision cannot be restored in these instances, the natural appearance of your face can often be restored.
Protecting your eyes is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of permanent eye damage. Wear appropriate eye protection when engaging in sports activities, and use protective lenses or shields when working with chemicals or performing tasks that involve flying debris. If an injury does occur, seek emergency care to reduce your risk of permanent disability or disfigurement.
Contact Houston Oculoplastics today to learn more about treatment of traumatic eye injuries or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Chaudhry.