When you stop to think about injuries someone might suffer in a car accident, it’s unlikely that an eye injury comes to the forefront of your mind — but it’s a distinct possibility.
An eye injury is a possible outcome of blunt force trauma in an accident, according to a Scandanavian study published last year. Researchers analyzed 84,627 cases involving head injuries between 2002 and 2015. At least 2.2% (or 1,901) of those injured were also diagnosed with visual system injuries. An estimated 28.5% of those cases resulted from an auto accident.
What signs of eye problems might you notice post-accident?
Optometrists and ophthalmologists see a few different eye injuries following a person’s involvement in a car accident. These conditions include:
- Optic nerve damage: An uptick in pressure in a person’s skull, which often results after someone suffers a brain injury, can increase the pressure placed on a person’s optic nerve. This nerve transmits messages from our eyes to our brains, and any damage to it often takes the form of blurry vision, at least initially.
- Retinal detachment: Your retina is a thin tissue that forms part of the innermost portion of your eyeball. It, much like your optic nerve, aids in transmitting what you see to your brain. Anyone who suffers from a loose or detached retina must have their doctor repair it immediately, or otherwise, they risk becoming permanently blind.
- Vitreous hemorrhages: A portion of our eyes has a jelly-like consistency, which is the vitreous humor. Blunt force trauma can cause the eye’s blood vessels to bleed. That blood can ooze into the vitreous humor affecting a person’s visual acuity. Fortunately, this condition can improve over time, but it can adversely impact your life until it does.
Most of us wouldn’t cope well if we were to lose our vision unexpectedly, but that’s the fate many people face after a car wreck. Crash victims often qualify for reimbursement of medical costs and lost wages. You might also be eligible for loss of quality of life and other damages if an accident robbed you of your good sight.