Blunt Eye Trauma: Complications, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Blunt eye trauma is a serious injury that can cause permanent damage to the eye.

Blunt eye trauma can cause damage to the globe (eyeball), bones of the eye socket, and the eyelid. This can lead to vision problems and pain.

The ocular injuries that can occur as a result of a fall or other physical trauma to the eye are often sudden and dramatic. The eyeball is compressed and distorted, which can lead to vision loss and other medical problems.

Potential Complications of Blunt Eye Trauma

Blunt eye trauma can lead to various complications, including:

● Globe rupture (bursting of the wall of the eye)
● Retrobulbar hematoma (blood congestion in the soft tissue behind the eyeball)
Retinal detachment or retinal break
● Orbital fracture (broken bones of the eye socket)
● Hyphaema or bleeding in front of the eye
● Traumatic glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve)
● Corneal abrasion (scratch on the clear, protective window at the front of the eye)
● Vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding into the jelly-like filling of the back part of the eye)

blunt eye trauma

A hyphaema (layer of blood) inside the eye, it is located between the cornea and iris.

If you experience a sudden decrease in vision, or a severe headache, contact your nearest eye doctor immediately. Blunt trauma can lead to vision loss, and if left untreated, can lead to blindness.

Symptoms of Blunt Eye Trauma

Blunt eye trauma can cause a number of symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury.

Common mild symptoms include:

● Minor pain
● Bruising
● Swelling
● A black eye
● Blood over the white part (sclera) of the eye

Severe symptoms of blunt eye trauma that indicate a critical injury has occurred include:

● Any blood over the colored part (iris) of the eye
● Vision loss
● Difficulty moving the eye
● Pain with eye movements
● A change in pupil size or shape
● Severe pain in the eye
● Light sensitivity
● Blurred vision
● Double vision
● Eye deformity
● Deformity of the eye socket
● Numbness around the eye
● Abnormal upper eyelid movement
● A foreign object embedded in the eye

What Causes Blunt Eye Trauma?

Blunt eye trauma can be caused by a sudden impact to the eye.

Common causes of blunt eye trauma include:

● Sports (especially squash, ice hockey, soccer, softball, and baseball)
● Car accident
● Job-related injury (especially drilling, hammering, or working with cars)
● Domestic violence
● Falls
● Children’s games such as BB guns and firecrackers

Blunt eye trauma is a medical condition that is most commonly experienced by young men. 95% of ocular trauma injuries occur in men under 30 years of age, often caused by interpersonal violence. Blunt trauma can cause a variety of serious medical conditions, including blindness.

What to Do After a Blunt Eye Injury

Blunt eye trauma is a serious injury that can result in vision loss if not treated quickly. Symptoms of blunt eye trauma include a sudden decrease in vision, pain, and redness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. By treating the injury quickly, you can reduce your risk of vision loss.

Here’s what you should do if you’ve suffered blunt eye trauma:

● Avoid touching your eyes until after you receive treatment
● If you are bleeding, apply pressure with clean cloth or gauze pads

Blunt Eye Trauma Diagnosis

Diagnosing blunt eye trauma requires careful examination by an ophthalmologist. A thorough history of the accident must be taken. This includes information about the following:

● What happened during the incident
● How much time has passed since the incident occurred
● Whether any other injuries were sustained during the event

Your ophthalmologist may use different imaging tests and tools to determine the extent of the injury. These tests include:

● Slit lamp examination
● X-rays
● CT scans
● Ultrasound

Treatment For Blunt Eye Trauma

Blunt trauma can be treated depending on the extent of the injury.

Treatment for mild blunt eye trauma includes:

● Ice packs
● Analgesia for pain
● Reducing physical activities until the eye is healed

Treatment for severe cases of blunt eye trauma will also include:

● Steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation
● Bed rest
● Glaucoma eye drops to reduce intraocular pressure
● Antiemetics or anti-nausea medication
● Antibiotics
● Wearing protective eyewear
● Surgery
● Follow-up eye examinations
● Avoiding aspirin and ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding

Possible Long-Term Effects of Blunt Eye Trauma

The outlook for a person who suffers from blunt eye trauma depends on several factors, including the severity and location of the injury.

The most common long-term effects of blunt eye trauma are:

● Blurred vision
● Double vision
● Eye pain
● Cosmetic effects

How to Avoid Blunt Eye Trauma

To reduce the risk of blunt eye trauma, you should take these steps:

● Always wear protective eyewear when participating in sports, especially contact or ball sports
● Store chemicals safely and always handle them properly
● Be careful when handling fireworks, firearms, knives, and other sharp objects
● Wear your seatbelt when you’re in a car, whether you’re the driver or a passenger


If you suffer from blunt eye trauma, you should seek medical attention from the nearest ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Blunt eye trauma can cause permanent damage to the eyes, and if not treated, it can lead to blindness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can blunt force trauma cause blindness?

Yes, blunt force trauma can cause blindness

Can you go blind from getting hit in the day?

Yes, blindness from a hit to the eye is possible and typically results from a high-velocity impact to the eye. The likelihood of developing blindness is based on the location of the hit and the velocity.
People participating in high-risk occupations and sports should exercise extreme caution and wear protective eyewear.

Can getting hit in the eye cause retinal detachment?

Yes, the force from blunt eye injuries can cause retinal detachment

How long does it take for eye trauma to heal?

Minor eye injuries can heal within 1 to 3 days, but more severe eye injuries can take several weeks or months to heal.