Key facts on diabetic retinopathy
Blunt trauma is due to a direct blow to the eye by a blunt object. Usually the eyeball remains intact, but there can be very serious internal damage to the eye, which can result in visual loss. It can cause damage, not only to the eye, but also to surrounding tissues, e.g., eyelids, orbital bones, sinuses.
Common causes of blunt trauma to the eye are cricket, tennis and squash ball injuries, fist or elbow injuries, stones and other missiles, belt buckle and bungee cord injuries.
All cases of blunt trauma should be seen by an ophthalmologist, who can examine the eye and identify any serious damage. Sometimes, the damage may not present until days, weeks, months or even years after the injury. A child with a history of blunt eye trauma, even after he/she are feeling better, should have his/her eye examined by an ophthalmologist, at least annually, for the rest of his/her life.
PENETRATING EYE INJURY
A penetrating eye injury is one which breaches the wall of the eyeball. It is usually caused by a sharp object. These injuries are often very serious, because apart from the damage that they cause to the ocular structures, they can also cause infection to get into the eyeball. Even when these injuries heal, they almost always heal with a scar, which can reduce vision considerably, especially if the cornea, the clear window in the front of the eye, is affected.
Objects that commonly cause penetrating eye injuries include sticks or twigs, nails or screws, pencils, pens, ice picks, compasses, fish hooks, scissors, knives, metal coat hangers.
Chemical injuries are common, and easily prevented. They are caused by chemical agents spilling or splashing into the eye. These can cause burns and scarring on the front of the eye, resulting in blindness, if severe.
Common agents that cause chemical eye injuries include bleach, acid, gas or kerosene.
In chemical eye injuries, first aid is most important, and can affect the final outcome. The most important part of treatment is to flush out the chemical with as much clean water as possible, usually for a period of 15 minutes, even before seeking medical attention.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Motor vehicle accidents account for a large percentage of childhood eye trauma. All three types of childhood eye injuries can be caused
Keep all sharp objects out of the reach of children.
Keep all chemicals out of the reach of children. For older children who will be handling chemicals e.g., chemistry students, protective goggles are advised. I Check all toys for sharp or pointed parts. I Take precautions when using pointed implements e.g., scissors, knives, ice picks, hangers.
Avoid games with missiles, e.g., bows and arrows, darts.
Insist on eye protection i.e., goggles, protective glasses, in ball and contact sports.
Teach children never to throw stones, and especially not at other people. I Avoid fireworks. I Ensure that children are in age-appropriate car seats, boosters or seat belts, when travelling in motor vehicles.
Never hit a child with a belt; many children have lost vision permanently because they were hit with a belt, and accidentally caught in the eye.
In the event that there has been an eye injury: Do not rub or put pressure on the eye. Do not try to remove an object, which is stuck or protruding from the eye. Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye. Gently cover any cut or puncture wound with clean gauze. If there is a chemical injury, flush the eye with clean water. Seek medical help as soon as possible.
IIIIIIDiabetic retinopathy occurs due to uncontrolled diabetes.
All diabetic patients must have a dilated eye examination at least once a year.
Patients with early diabetic retinopathy are asymptomatic.
If left undiagnosed, it can lead to blindness.
Diabetics are at risk of serious visual impairment if not screened.
Diabetic retinopathy is a preventable cause of blindness.
Early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Referring for screening by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) can prevent blindness.
All newly diagnosed diabetic patients or those who have not had an eye examination in the past year should be referred to an eye doctor for screening.
Patients can get a referral from their doctor to the new Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Clinic at UHWI to get their eyes checked for diabetic retinopathy with digital retinal photographs.
Patients will have blurred vision after dilatation for six hours and should come accompanied. They must not drive themselves to the appointment.
BLUNT EYE TRAUMA