Hyphema (Bleeding in Eye) (cont.)
Exams and Tests
Your ophthalmologist asks about any history of eye injury, when the injury may have happened, and how it happened. It is important for your ophthalmologist to know if, for example, you were hit in the eye with a baseball or you ran into a low-hanging branch on a tree.
A complete eye examination is performed.
- A visual acuity test checks for how well you can see. The intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) must be checked.
- A special microscope, called a slit lamp microscope, is used to look inside the structures of the eye.
- A hyphema can be seen as a clot or layered blood in the anterior chamber of the eye. The condition called "eight ball" or "black hyphema" occurs when the entire anterior chamber is filled with blood. Smaller hyphemas may appear layered in the anterior chamber.
- A microhyphema may also be seen. This appears as a haziness in the anterior chamber consisting of suspended red blood cells in the anterior chamber.
- If you have experienced severe trauma, the doctor may order a CT scan to look at the bones forming the eye sockets themselves and other facial structures.
- African Americans and those of Mediterranean descent should be screened for sickle cell disease or thalassemia, which can lead to serious complications. In these cases, surgery may be considered an early option.
John D. Sheppard, MD, MMSc
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