Eye Injuries (cont.)
Questions to Ask the Doctor
- Is there any sign of damage to the eye?
- Is there any sign of permanent vision loss?
Diagnosis of Eye Injuries
As with any medical condition, the history is very important. How the injury occurred will often help the emergency medicine doctor or ophthalmologist focus the examination. A patient's vision (visual acuity) will be checked, so patients should bring their glasses to the office visit. The ophthalmologist is interested in preserving the best vision that an individual's eye(s) can achieve.
- To check for injuries to the cornea, the ophthalmologist or emergency medicine doctor usually places a drop of special dye or stain into the tear-lubricated area that normally lubricates the eye. The dye is called fluorescein, which stains those areas of the cornea that have been damaged. When a blue light is shined into the eye, corneal abrasions turn green in appearance.
- A device called a slit lamp is often used as well. A slit lamp is essentially a special magnifying and illuminating microscope to look more closely at the eye.
- X-rays are rarely used, except if an orbital fracture, intraocular, or intraorbital foreign body is suspected. Corneal foreign bodies do not require X-rays.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2015
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