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Eye Injury

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Eye Injury

Eye InjuryHumans are visual creatures. We rely on our eyes to provide us with most of the information we need to go about our daily lives. Studies show that although the brain gathers information from all the senses, visual information dominates data from other senses.

It’s only natural, then, that eye injuries are such a frightening prospect for most people. According to one survey, nearly 74% of respondents said losing their vision was the scariest sensory loss they could imagine. People with visual impairments face difficulties in almost every part of their lives, from mobility to employment.

Eye injuries typically occur in one of three ways: foreign matter, lacerations, and blunt force, leading to various types of eye injuries.

Foreign Matter

Foreign Matter

Foreign matter in the eye can damage the tissues within. Even a small amount of debris can cause irritation, watering, and blurred vision. Gritty material can scratch the eye’s surface, and caustic chemicals can burn it.

These particular types of injuries are common in workplace accidents. A laboratory worker, for instance, might suffer chemical burns to the eye if their goggles are defective and break.


Penetrating injuries occur when something pierces or lacerates the tissues of the eye. These injuries can happen anytime in which an object flies toward and strikes the eye, though you can also suffer a penetrating eye injury when your face strikes something sharp.

An example of a penetrating eye injury can happen in a motorcycle accident. When a car hits a motorcycle, the rider may be ejected, and as they slide across the pavement, glass, rocks, or other debris might get embedded in their eyelid or eye itself.

Blunt Force

A blunt-force eye injury is typically the result of an impact on the eye that does not produce an open wound. Like penetrating injuries, these can happen when something moving toward you hits your eye or when your body moves toward a fixed object and strikes it.

In a slip and fall accident, for instance, you unexpectedly lose your footing, and your momentum causes you to fall forward. If your face hits a table as you fall, you might suffer a blunt-force eye injury.

Common Eye Injuries

Your eye has many structures that can suffer injuries. Your eyeball itself, also called the globe, gathers light and converts it to a signal your brain can interpret as an image. The cornea covers the front of your eye. The iris sits behind it and controls the dilation of your pupil.

Light passing through the pupil gets focused onto the retina by the eye’s natural lens. The retina is a specialized nerve that converts light into nerve signals. Those signals pass along the optic nerve to the brain, where the signals are decoded into an image.

Damage to any of these structures can impair your vision. And what makes matters worse is that eye injuries can take many forms based on the tissue that gets damaged.

The following eye injuries can result from physical trauma:

Scratched Cornea

A scratched cornea, also called a corneal abrasion, happens when debris or any other foreign object scrapes the surface of the eye.

Damage to the cornea produces the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Tears
  • Blurred vision

Most corneal abrasions do not require any medical treatment. Depending on what scratched your eye, a doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops to reduce the risk of infection.

Chemical Burns

Burns occur when a chemical reaction damages or destroys the cells that make up the eye.

Chemical burns can result from contact with many of the following types of chemicals:

  • Bleach and other oxidizers
  • Lye and other alkaline chemicals
  • Acids
  • Solvents

The symptoms of chemical burns can range from pain and redness to vision loss, depending on the type of chemical. Immediately after the burn, first aid will focus on washing the chemical from the eye. After you reach the hospital, a doctor can determine whether you need additional flushing. They may also try to neutralize the chemical.

Fractured Orbital

The orbital is the medical term for your eye socket, a thin shell formed by seven bones that surround, protect, and support your eye. Your eye’s muscles attach to the orbital, and the nerves and blood vessels connected to the globe pass along its structures. Blunt force trauma can fracture the orbital bones and produce a range of eye issues.

The bone fragments could sever blood vessels that deliver blood to the eye, causing tissue death. If the fragments sever the nerves that control the eye’s motion, you might have one eye with less movement than the other. If the orbital floor supporting the globe fractures, one eye might be lower than the other, which can cause double vision.

Ruptured Globe

A ruptured globe occurs when something penetrates your eye. The eye’s shape is maintained by the fluid inside of it. As such, when it ruptures, that fluid can leak out, and the eye can deform.

A doctor can surgically repair the tear in the eye’s tissues to preserve its appearance by suturing the rip in the globe. They will also close torn blood vessels to stop any bleeding, then clean the wound and treat it with antibiotics to control infections. However, despite their best efforts, almost all ruptures lead to partial or total vision loss.

Detached Retina

Trauma, including penetrating or blunt injuries, can cause the retina to partially or fully detach from the surface. And without its blood supply, the detached retina can die, permanently blinding you.

However, when caught early enough, doctors can repair a detached retina. One option is to deform the globe so it remains in contact with the retina. The doctor can then create scar tissue using freezing treatment, which will re-adhere the retina to the globe.

Brain Injury

Though not a direct eye injury, a brain injury can affect the vision centers responsible for decoding signals from the retina. Thus, even though your eye may work perfectly, you might still lose your vision due to brain trauma.

Can I Get Compensated for an Eye Injury?

You can pursue injury compensation for eye injuries that result from a job-related accident. If you injured your eye while working, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover all of your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages. You may also have a third-party claim against anyone other than your employer who contributed to your injury.

You can also file an injury claim if your eye injury occurred in an incident caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions. The compensation for these injuries can cover both your economic losses and your pain and suffering.

Learn More from an Experienced Injury Attorney

An eye injury can result in permanent partial or total vision loss. Contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 564 2800 for a free consultation to discuss your eye injury and the compensation we can pursue for its effects.

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