Humans are visual creatures. Vision is their dominant sense. Some studies suggest that as much as 83% of the information used by the brain during learning comes through the eyes.
When you suffer an eye injury, you can lose some or all of your vision. You might suffer from a loss of visual acuity, a diminishment in your field of vision, or a reduction in eye movement. These disabilities can impact your ability to work or even meet your daily needs.
Below, learn about the causes of an eye injury and the compensation you can get for an injured eye.
Table of Contents
What is the Structure and Function of Your Eyes?
Your sensory organs gather information about your surroundings and pass that information on to the brain. Your eyes gather light so your brain can form a visual image of your environment.
Your eyes sit in the orbit of your skull. These eye sockets have a ridge over your eyes. Below and behind your eyes, the orbit consists of a thin layer of bone. Muscles surround the orbit to move your eyeball.
The eyeball or globe has several layers of outer tissue. The tough sclera makes up the outside of the globe. It protects the eye from impacts and some penetrating injuries.
The cornea covers the front of the eye. The iris sits behind the cornea. The iris dilates and contracts the pupil to control the quantity of light that enters the eye.
On a bright day, the pupil will contract, and only a small fraction of the light falling on the eye will reach the retina. This helps to protect the lens and the retina from radiation damage.
Behind the iris sits the lens. Together, the cornea and lens focus light passing into the eye.
The retina sits on the inside surface at the rear of the globe. It senses the light passing through the eye and converts the sensed light into a nerve signal.
The optic nerve sits at the back of the skull. Image information captured by the retina travels along the optic nerve to the brain.
Blood vessels run throughout the sclera to feed the optic nerve, retina, and other tissues inside the eye.
What Causes Eye Injuries?
Eye injuries usually fall into one of the following categories:
A penetrating injury happens when an object hits the eye and pierces it. These injuries do not necessarily mean that the eyeball gets pierced. A cut on the eyelid or a scratch on the cornea would also qualify as a penetrating injury. For example, if you slip and fall forward onto something sharp that cuts your eye, you have a penetrating injury.
Penetrating injuries include an open wound that can get infected. As a result, doctors need to take steps to limit the risk of infection when treating the injury.
Blunt Force Injury
A blunt force injury happens when something hits your eye without creating an open wound. A car accident where your face and eye hit the steering wheel will produce a blunt force injury.
A foreign object can get propelled into your eye. The foreign object can either penetrate your eye, lodge in your eye without causing an open wound, or bounce off your eye. An example of this type of injury happens when you get broken glass in your eye during a motorcycle accident.
A brain injury can affect your vision if it damages the occipital lobe or the optic nerve. This type of injury can result in partial or total loss of vision even though your eye did not get damaged in the accident.
What Are Some Symptoms of an Eye Injury?
The symptoms of an eye injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury.
Some common symptoms include:
- Eye pain
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Partial or total loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Bleeding from or near the eye
- Watery eye
You should seek medical attention any time you suspect an eye injury. Delay in seeking treatment could result in a permanent loss of vision.
What Types of Eye Injuries Can Occur?
Eye Injuries can take many different forms, including:
A fractured orbital happens when the bone surrounding and supporting the eye breaks. This usually happens due to a blunt force injury.
When the orbital fractures, the eye can move out of place. This can cause blurry or double vision because the two eyes do not align.
An orbital fracture can also cause permanent damage to the eye. A bone fragment can:
- Pierce the globe
- Damage the optic nerve
- Sever blood vessels to the eye
Doctors will usually wait to prescribe a course of treatment for an orbital fracture. Once the swelling goes down, doctors can determine whether you need reconstructive surgery to realign your eyes.
A ruptured globe happens when your eyeball gets penetrated or bursts. This can occur from a penetrating injury or a blunt force injury.
A ruptured globe requires immediate surgical repair. The doctor will close the rupture and treat your eye for possible infection.
Almost all cases of a ruptured globe will involve some loss of vision. Your doctor will try to save as much of your vision as possible. But the damage to the cornea, retina, and sclera will likely cause partial or total blindness.
A corneal abrasion happens when an object scrapes the front surface of the eye. In mild cases, you might experience pain, blurry vision, and watery eyes, but the injury will heal in a few weeks.
In severe cases, you might develop an infection or scars on your cornea. This can permanently affect your vision. To restore your vision, you may need a corneal transplant.
What Compensation Can You Recover for an Eye Injury?
You can seek injury compensation for eye injuries that result from someone else’s negligence. This compensation will cover your economic and non-economic losses.
Your economic losses include the cost of medical treatment and corrective lenses to treat your eye injury. They also include your lost income if you cannot work due to your injury.
Your non-economic losses include the diminishment in your quality of life due to your injury. Since vision is so central to everything you do, you might have significant non-economic losses.To learn more about the compensation you can seek for your eye injury, contact or call Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers at (561) 347-7770 for a free consultation.