Eye injuries can disable you from working, driving, or even meeting your daily needs. After losing some or all of your vision, you may need extensive occupational therapy to read, cook, and shop.
Eye injuries can also have less quantifiable effects. You might need to change jobs or job duties, resulting in fewer opportunities for advancement. You may not be able to enjoy your leisure time activities, such as travel or sports, because of your diminished eyesight.
Here is an overview of how eye injuries happen and how you can get compensation for them.
What Is the Structure Of Your Eyes?
The eyes are comparable to highly specialized nerve endings. They collect light information and convert it into nerve signals. The brain decodes the nerve signals to create a visual image.
Your brain uses visual images to learn new information and control your body. When you see a ball flying toward you, your brain uses light, shadow, and size to calculate the speed and position of the ball so you can catch it.
Your eyes include the eyeball, or globe, as well as the structures that support and move it. The globe sits in the eye socket, also called the orbital. The orbital includes seven bones that protect the eye and hold it in position.
Muscles connect the globe to the orbital. These muscles move the globe inside the orbital. The optic nerve sits at the back of the orbital and connects the globe to the brain.
The cornea sits at the front of the eye. The cornea protects the iris and pupil from foreign objects. It also begins the process of focusing light entering the eye.
The iris controls the size of the pupil based on the amount of light that reaches the eye. In low light levels, the iris dilates the pupil to allow as much light as possible to enter the eye. In bright light, the iris contracts the pupil to protect the retina.
The lens sits behind the iris. Muscles adjust the shape of the lens to focus light on the retina. The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive cells. These cells detect light, dark, and colors. The retina converts this light information into nerve signals that travel along the optic nerve to the brain.
How Does an Eye Injury Happen?
Your eyes can get injured in many ways. These injuries can damage the structures of your eye, leading to visual impairment or even blindness.
Traumatic eye injuries often result from:
When an object hits your eye without causing an open wound, you have a blunt-force injury. If you were to get punched in the eye during an assault, you would suffer a blunt-force injury.
Blunt-force eye injuries also happen when your eye hits a blunt object. For example, you might hit your face on the steering wheel, dashboard, or even the airbag in a car accident. The impact force can injure your globe or orbital.
Penetrating injuries happen when something pierces your eye and causes an open wound. If you hit your face on the ground in a pedestrian accident, the pavement could cause a penetrating injury to your eyelid and even your globe.
Foreign matter in your eye can scratch the cornea. It can also get tangled in the muscles that control eye movement. In a worst-case situation, sharp debris, like metal shavings or gravel, could pierce the globe or sever the nerves controlling eye movement.
Burns happen when a physical or chemical reaction destroys eye tissue.
Several types of burns can damage your eye, including:
- Electrical burns
- Thermal burns from hot objects
- Combustion burns from flames
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
The most common and catastrophic eye burn comes from chemical burns. These burns often happen in workplace accidents where caustic acids, cleaning products, or other chemicals get splashed into the eyes.
What Types of Eye Injuries Can Occur?
Humans get over 80% of their information about their surroundings from their eyes. When you injure your eyes, even a slight loss of vision can cause severe disorientation and disability.
Some of the eye injuries you could suffer in an accident include:
Debris in the eye can scratch the cornea.
Symptoms of a scratched cornea include:
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurry vision
While annoying, a scratched cornea will heal in a few days or weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic eye drops to reduce the risk of eye infection.
An impact to the head or face can fracture the bones that make up the orbital. A fractured orbital can endanger your vision. Immediately after your injury, your eye could swell shut, temporarily depriving you of the use of that eye.
But a fractured orbital can also cause long-term damage. Bone fragments can damage the nerves, blood vessels, or muscles connected to the eye. They can even pierce the globe.
If the thin bones inside the socket get fractured, the eye might move out of position, leading to a misalignment of the eyes. This misalignment can cause double vision or other visual impairments.
A penetrating injury can rupture the globe. Even a powerful blunt injury can create enough pressure to cause the globe to burst.
When the globe ruptures, it loses the pressure that maintains its spherical shape. This can cause the retina to detach. The deformation can also damage other structures in the eye.
Doctors treat a ruptured globe by closing the wound. But in many situations, doctors cannot save the eye. Instead of treating the rupture, they will remove the globe so you can wear a prosthesis in its place.
Trauma can cause the retina to detach from the inside of the eye. When this happens, the retina loses its blood supply. Without emergency treatment, the retina will die, and you will suffer permanent blindness in that eye.
How Can You Get Compensation for an Eye Injury?
If your eye injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, you can seek personal injury compensation. To get compensation, you will need to show that someone failed to exercise reasonable care, and as a result, your eye was injured. Eye injuries can cause partial or total vision loss. Contact the experienced Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can seek for the effects of an eye injury at (904)-396-1100.