Injuries to the eyes are surprisingly common. In South Africa, most are caused by violence, motor vehicle accidents, alcoholism, poverty, and other social ills prevalent in many communities.
Apart from societal social ills contributing to eye injuries, other causes of eye injury are workplace accidents, sports, and recreational events, fireworks, house and garden injuries, and exposure to household chemicals.
Eye injuries include both traumatic and chemical damages. Eye trauma can be classified as either penetrating or blunt. Penetrating trauma involves a sharp instrument or a projectile object entering the eye. It can be glass from a shattered windscreen in a motor vehicle accident or a stab directly into the eyes. Blunt trauma is when an object forcefully contacts the eye. Examples of this are a punch to the face or being hit in the face with an object. Both these forms of trauma can be damaging to the eyes. Damage to the eyes from trauma or injury can range from minor pain and inflammation to an open wound that may require suturing in theatre or even destruction of the eye resulting in the surgical removal of the eye and replacement with an artificial or prosthetic eye.
Here are a few simple and easy precautions to help protect yourself from serious eye injuries.
- Wear safety goggles when working in the workshop, welding, doing home DIY projects, jump-starting your car, or working with chemicals.
- Always wear appropriate protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities.
- Fireworks can cause devastating injuries to users and bystanders. Never use them at home – attend only professional fireworks displays.
In the event of an eye injury, you will need to consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. The ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive examination, diagnose the extent of injuries, and then institute the necessary treatment.
Intercare Woodhill Medical & Dental Centre, in partnership with AllAboutEyes Ophthalmologists, is ready to assist with all your eye care needs and treatment of eye injuries. Surgical treatment for eye injuries and most other eye surgeries can be done at Intercare day hospitals.
Dr Anesu Madikane, MBChB, Dip (Ophth) SA, Fc (Ophth)SA, MMED Ophth
Ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon at AllAboutEyes. https://allabouteyes.co.za/