Eye Injury and the Risk of Retinal Diseases
The retina is the thin layer of light-sensitive tissues that sit at the back of the eye. The retina receives visual information and sends it to the brain via the optic nerve so that a clear picture can be processed. Retinal conditions cause visual disturbances that may ultimately lead to vision loss.
Retinal diseases may be caused by a number of factors, but one risk factor is eye injury. The experienced eye doctors at Retina Associates help our Shawnee Mission, KS, patients understand the link between eye injury and the risk of retinal diseases. We also offer some tips that can help patients preserve clear vision following an eye injury.
Why Does Eye Injury Increase the Risk of Retinal Diseases?
An eye injury can greatly affect the overall health and functions of the eye. When an eye injury is severe, changes may be immediate. If the eye is damaged by a significant force, or if other objects or chemicals enter the eye, they can suddenly alter the structure of the eye or damage the tissues within.
Even when eye injuries seem less severe, they can have a greater impact than our Shawnee Mission patients realize. Any degree of trauma can damage tissues within the eye or cause imperfections that increase the risk of eye diseases over time.
Which Retinal Diseases May Be Linked to Eye Injury?
There are a number of conditions that can affect the tissues of the retina. Although retinal diseases have many potential causes, an eye injury increases the risk of most retinal conditions. Some retinal diseases that may be the direct result of a traumatic eye injury include:
- Retinal tear: A retinal tear describes a cut in the retinal tissues, or partial detachment from the back surface of the eye.
- Retinal detachment: Retinal detachment refers to a complete separation of the retinal tissues from the underlying layer of the tissues at the back of the eye.
Retinal tears or detachment can develop suddenly after an eye injury. However, even if an eye injury does not have any immediate consequences, it can still increase the risk of future retinal diseases, such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Epiretinal membrane
- Retinitis pigmentosa
Caring for the Eye after an Eye Injury
It is not really possible to eliminate the risk of a retinal disease after an eye injury. However, if patients take certain precautions following the injury, they should be able to detect any retinal conditions while they are still in their early stages and easy to treat or manage.
After an eye injury, we recommend that our Shawnee Mission patients:
- Place the eye under a steady stream of water for 15 minutes if chemicals or other substances got in the eye
- Gently apply a cold compress or a shield over the injured eye
- Avoid applying pressure to the eye, as this can worsen injuries
- Schedule an eye examination as soon as possible or seek emergency eye care
- Schedule any recommended follow-up appointments
- Continue to schedule regular eye exams to monitor eye health
Schedule an Appointment
If you have suffered an eye injury or are just in need of a routine eye examination, the team of eye doctors at Retina Associates are here to help. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors at your earliest convenience by calling (913) 831-7400.