The sense of vision allows people to navigate the world and perform myriad tasks safely.
When you suffer an eye injury, you might suffer blindness, diminished visual acuity, light sensitivity, or misaligned eyes. This, in turn, can affect your ability to work, drive, and even care for yourself.
Read on to learn some facts about the causes and effects of an eye injury. You will also learn how to get compensation after injuring your eyes.
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What Are the Parts of Your Eye?
Your eye is a miraculous sense organ. It collects light and turns it into nerve signals. Your brain receives the nerve signals and constructs an image. This image gives your brain the information it needs to make decisions and learn new skills and information.
The eyeball, or globe, sits in the eye socket. The eye socket is a set of bones that form the orbital around the eye. These bones support the eye and provide anchor points for the muscles that move the globe. Nerves and blood vessels run to these muscles to feed and control them.
Inside the Eye
The cornea forms the outer surface of your eye in front of the iris. The cornea protects the eye from debris and radiation. It also begins the process of focusing light that enters the eye.
The iris sits behind the cornea. The iris includes specialized muscles that control the size of the pupil. The pupil is merely an opening at the center of the iris. When the iris dilator muscles contract, the pupil dilates. When the iris sphincter muscles contract, the pupil contracts.
Your brain controls your iris to allow the right amount of light into your eye so you can see without damaging your retina. In low light, the pupils dilate to gather more light. In bright light, the pupils contract to protect the retina.
The lens sits behind the pupil. The lens also has specialized muscles to pull or relax the lens to focus incoming light onto the retina. Between the cornea and lens, your eye should create a sharp image on your retina. If it does not, you need corrective lenses to help the cornea and lens focus light.
The retina is covered in nerve endings. These nerve endings detect light and darkness in the projected image. They also detect color.
When the retina detects light, it creates a nerve signal and sends it along the optic nerve to the brain. The visual center of the brain reconstructs the image from the nerve impulses it receives.
How Does an Eye Injury Happen?
An eye injury can happen in a few ways, including:
A penetrating injury happens when something pierces your eye. In addition to the damage to your eye, the injury leaves an open wound that can bleed and become infected.
A penetrating injury can happen in almost any type of accident. Glass shards from a broken windshield can pierce your eye during a car accident. A tool can shatter and send sharp metal into your eye in a workplace accident.
Blunt Force Injury
A blunt force injury happens when something strikes your eye but does not pierce it. As a result, you might have bruises and even cuts around your eye. But you will not have an open wound in your eye.
Debris can get trapped on the surface of your eye. Debris causes injuries that differ from penetrating and blunt force injuries.
The debris can continue to damage tissue as long as it stays in the eye. Microorganisms on the debris can cause an eye infection.
When a chemical reaction destroys tissue, it results in a burn.
Burns can take a few different forms, including:
- Thermal burns from hot objects
- Combustion burns from flames
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
- Electrical burns
Burn injuries to the eyes often happen in the workplace. Eye protection can reduce the risk of burns.
What Are Some Examples of an Eye Injury?
Eye injuries can damage different structures in the eye. Some examples of eye injuries include:
A corneal abrasion usually happens when debris gets into your eye. It can also happen when an object strikes your eye and scrapes across your cornea.
Symptoms of a corneal abrasion include:
- Watering eye
- Blurry vision
Corneal abrasions will usually heal on their own. Doctors will often prescribe antibiotic eye drops to reduce the risk of an eye infection.
A blunt impact can fracture the bones around, above, below, and behind the eye. Fractured orbital bones pose many risks to your eyes.
Bone fragments can penetrate the eye or get caught in the muscles that control it. These bone fragments can even sever the nerves that control the eye muscles, paralyzing them. They can also sever the optic nerve, blinding you.
When the bones behind or below the eye get fractured, your eyeball can be displaced. This might limit the movement of your eye or leave it out of alignment with your other eye.
A ruptured globe almost always results in some vision loss. The globe ruptures when an injury causes a hole or tear in the eyeball.
Doctors can operate to close the hole, but damage to the retina, optic nerve, or blood vessels feeding the eye can result in permanent vision loss.
The retina can detach for many reasons, including head trauma. When the retina detaches, you lose vision in your eye. If it remains detached, it can die from a lack of blood. Emergency surgery can reattach the retina and restore some or all of your vision.
What Compensation Can You Seek for an Eye Injury?
You can seek compensation when you suffer an eye injury due to someone’s negligence. Your compensation can cover your economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost income. It can also cover your non-economic damages, such as the diminishment in your quality of life due to pain, suffering, and disability.
An eye injury can leave you without the sense you rely on the most. You could miss substantial time from work and require extensive therapy and training to learn how to get along with diminished or no eyesight. Contact our law firm Marzzacco Niven & Associates to discuss your eye injury and the compensation at (717) 231-1640 you can seek for these and other effects.