Eye injuries are very common and affect in excess of one million Americans every year. There is increased litigation for the negligence doctors and clinics as well as lawsuits arising out of accidents where negligence is claimed by an injured person causing the injury.
While eye injuries can be caused by uncommon circumstances like failed laser eye surgery, too much exposure to ultra violet rays in places like tanning salons, defective contact lenses, the majority are from ordinary car accidents and injuries that are work-related eye injuries. Each day more than 2,000 U.S. workers seek some form of medical treatment because of an eye injury sustained at work. More than 800,000 work-related eye injuries occur each year particularly at construction sites. In 70% of these cases the injury is sustained by contact with an object or equipment. The remainder for the most part were caused by exposure to harmful substances or environments. This information was determined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). www.cdc.gov/Features/dsworkPlaceEye/
In an attempt to minimize eye injuries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require the use of protective goggles, in many instances; e.g. tanning salons, and this requirement has lessened the amount of eye damage and injuries from that source. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and twenty-five states operating their own job safety and health programs have concentrated on programs and regulations reducing eye injuries. It has been reported that 3 out of every 5 eye injuries in the work place was caused by the worker not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or wearing the wrong kind of eye protection. As the most common cause of eye injury is particles flying, and these particles are typically smaller than a pin head. The use of mandated eye protection is the primary form of prevention on the job. However, other injuries caused by objects swinging like tree limbs, ropes, chains or tools which are pulled into the eye while the worker was using them are usually the most severe. These types of accidents are much more difficult to prevent despite the use of protective eye wear. OSHA Regulations mandate that the employer ensure that employees use appropriate eye and face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards, whether it is particles, flying objects, liquids or gasses. http://www.eyesafety.4ursafety.com/OSHA-eye-safety-regulations.html For a resource about various types of protective eye wear see http://www.eyesafety.4ursafety.com/styles.html This website has the pictures and descriptions of the latest and safest styles of safety glasses.
There is a wide-array of treatments for eye injuries depending on its’ severity. Some types of eye injuries such as deep puncture could require immediate treatment or surgery to prevent permanent eye damage resulting in vision loss. Minor surface scratches may only need simple monitoring after initial visit to the eye doctor to make sure that complications such as infections don’t occur. Scratched eyes or corneal abrasions are commonly caused by getting poked in the eye or rubbing the eye when a foreign body is present such as dust or sand. While abrasions can be uncomfortable they are usually treatable. However, as scratches can make your eye susceptible to infection which can lead to very serious eye problems. It is absolutely necessary that the eye be cleansed and treated as early as possible even in the most insignificant injury. If you have a scratch, you should not rub it and don’t patch the eye either, as bacteria like dark places to grow. See your doctor as soon as possible! If a foreign object such as a piece of metal which may penetrate the eye must be treated at the emergency center immediately. You may cause more injury if you attempt to remove an object that has become impaled. It should be removed and treated as soon as possible by an experienced physician.
Chemical burns occur often in the work place, and cause eye pain while others can result in serious injury. The basic makeup of the chemical involved makes a lot of difference regarding the victims outcome. For example acid, while it causes considerable burning can be washed out fairly easily. An alkali burn is much more serious but may not seem so because they don’t cause as much immediate eye pain. Some examples of alkali substances are oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners. If you have been splashed in the eye by one of these substances, put your head under a steady stream of fairly warm tap water for about 15 minutes. Let it run into your eye and down your face, then call your eye doctor and emergency room to see what is recommended for your eye injury. Tell the person exactly what kind of substance got into your eye. If you know your eye is at risk, then perhaps you should immediately go your eye doctor or emergency room after you have rinsed it with water. You can put on a cool, moist compress or icepack on your eye on the way, but don’t rub it. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/tc/burns-to-the-eye-topic-overview
When the eye is struck and it bleeds, it usually looks worse than it is. These hemorrhages can occur even with a minor injury and may be limited to a small section in the eye. The hemorrhage is painless and does not cause temporary or permanent vision loss. No treatment is usually required.
Traumatic iritis is inflammation of the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil. After an eye injury this can come from a blow from an object, and it usually requires immediate treatment. Even with medical treatment, there is a risk of permanent or decreased vision. http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-injuries.htm
Another serious injury involves orbital fractures are fractures, cracks or breaks in the facial bone surrounding the eye. These are serious eye injuries and medical emergencies. They are caused by a significant blunt force trauma to the eye such as getting hit by a bat, baseball, hockey stick, kicked in the face or you fall striking the steering wheel or dash in an auto accident . These are very serious and need to be treated immediately. http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/eyeforum/trauma.htm
You should treat all eye injuries as a potential emergency and never hesitate to see an eye doctor. Don’t take risks with your eyesight. For more information about eye injuries visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/safety/
An eye injury lawyer can help you after an accident involving serious injury to your eye caused by someones negligence. If your injury was caused by a wrongful conduct, someone may be liable in a lawsuit. Eye injuries are often catastrophic and may lead to partial or complete loss of vision, and thus serious disability. Clearly those who are responsible should be held accountable for all your losses, present and future, including medical costs, wages and pain and suffering. If the injury is severe, often expert assistance with daily living and activities may be need; and those expenses must be recovered by your attorney.
If you or a loved one has an eye injury, contact the Law Office of William “Bill” Hurst has the experience to access fully the extent of the other parties’ responsibility and to obtain fair financial compensation for you and your family. You can call Bill for a free consultation at 1-800-636-0808 or see our website at www.billhurst.com.