MANASSAS, WOODBRIDGE, ALEXANDRIA, AND FREDERICKSBURG
Due to Accidents
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2 ½ million eye injuries occur each year. Unfortunately, 50,000 people annually lose part or all of their sight as a result of eye injuries.
Glass fragments from a shattered windshield or door window may penetrate the eye of an occupant causing serious eye injuries. In addition, trauma to the eye from striking an air bag or the interior of the car also may cause serious eye injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents cause many types of eye injuries seen by emergency room physicians. These include:
- Orbital (eye socket) Blow-out Fractures
- Hemmorhage (Bleeding)
- Eye Lid Injuries
- Iris Injuries
- Cornea Injuries
- Ruptured Globe Injuries
- Comotio Retina (Retinal Contusion)
- Traumatic Maculopathy
- Retinal Tears
- Retinal Detachment
- Optic Nerve Injury
Our eyes sit in a hollow, pear-shaped socket in the skull called the “orbit.” Severe blunt trauma to the eye can result in “blowing-out” part of the floor of the eye socket, causing what is called an “orbital blow-out fracture.”
As a result, the eye may drop down below the orbit floor trapping eye muscles that move the eye causing double vision. Other symptoms of an “orbital blow-out fracture” include bruising of the eye and numbness in the surrounding facial areas. In addition, the position of the eye may become abnormal -- either sunken or bulging out of the eye socket.
A CT scan shows the full extent of the “orbital blow-out fracture.” Often the orbital bones are fractured in many fragments. Treatment often requires surgery which repairs the fractured orbital bone, removes orbital bone fragments and frees the trapped eye muscle.
Our retina is located in the back of our eye. The retina contains millions of specialized cells that transfer what we see into millions of nerve messages that go to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends these nerve messages from the retina to the brain that tells us what we see. The center of the retina is called the “macula” -- the spot where our vision is the sharpest, which is responsible for our central vision. Injury to the macula or its blood supply causes an eye injury called “traumatic maculopathy” -- which can result in vision loss.
Blunt trauma to the eye can cause serious eye injuries -- a contusion to the retina called “comotio retinae” or cause the retina to tear or develop small holes. Tears in the retina can lead to detachment of the retina.
Symptoms of retinal detachment include floaters (specks) in the eye or light flashes in the eye, or both. A third symptom is a curtain covering the field of vision.
Treatment of tears and small holes in the retina is accomplished by cryopexy (freeze treatment) or with laser surgery. A detached retina is a medical emergency requiring more extensive surgery to the eye.
“Traumatic Optic Neuropathy” (TON) refers to injury of the optic nerve as a result of trauma. TON results in varying degrees of vision loss. Initial treatment often consists of IV anti-inflammatory steroids to decrease inflammation of the optic nerve. Surgery is often required.
Virginia accident attorney Gerald Schwartz is an eye injury lawyer who has handled serious eye injury cases for 30 years for clients who live in Fairfax and Arlington, as well all over Northern Virginia. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious eye injury, call Gerald Schwartz for a free consultation to learn your rights at 1-800-423-0055.