Sports Eye Injuries: Five Signs You Need Medical Attention
Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, you know how important it is to keep your eyes safe when you play sports. Despite taking precautions, eye injuries happen. It can be tough to figure out when it’s time to see an optometrist after you’ve been hit in the eye. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you need to see an eye care professional after a sports-related eye injury.
- Loss of vision – Whether you lose vision for a moment, or for a longer period of time, this is a sign that you may have a serious injury. Seek medical attention right away if you’re struggling to see.
- Intense pain – If the pain you feel from your injury is not easily relieved with an over the counter pain reliever, or lasts for an extended period of time, you’ll need to check in with your eye doctor for treatment.
- Blood in your eye – Whether blood is coming out of the eye or you have a bright red spot on the sclera (white area) of your eye, the appearance of blood is a sign that you need to seek treatment. Try not to worry – often, the appearance of a bright red spot on the sclera (also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage) is a superficial injury. Your eye doctor will be able to work with you to develop the best course of treatment for your injury (if treatment is necessary at all).
- Fluid coming out of the eye – It can be hard to tell whether fluid coming out of the eye is tearing due to the eye trying to flush out foreign material, or if the fluid is due to an injury. If you notice excessive tearing or think that another fluid may be coming out of the eye, be sure to seek medical care right away.
- Cut on the eyelid, eye, or around the eye – If you have a cut in the eye area, you’re at risk for infection, and it’s important that you get medical treatment.
- Foreign object in the eye – If you have an object stuck in your eye (whether it’s embedded in your eyeball or you’re simply unable to clear a foreign body from the eye area), seek emergency medical care.
If you find yourself going back and forth on whether you’d like to see an eye doctor for treatment of a sports-related eye injury, know that the majority of eye injuries do require treatment. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to any injury that involves the eye, or the area around the eye.