Hyphema is blood in the front chamber of the eye between the cornea and iris. It is usually caused by blunt trauma to the eye. A direct hit to the eye can break blood vessels in the iris, causing them to leak blood into the anterior chamber and mix with the clear aqueous fluid, blurring vision. The blood may appear as a reddish tinge to the eye, or it may be a pooling of blood at the bottom of the iris.
Hyphema Symptoms and Treatment
Because there are times that the pooling of blood is not visible, victims of eye trauma need to be aware of the symptoms. They include:
- eye pain
- light sensitivity
- blurred vision
- elevated eye pressure
- pooling blood in the eye
In mild cases of hyphema, the blood can be reabsorbed with no treatment. For more severe cases of hyphema, treatment includes:
- bed rest with head elevated 45-60 degrees with both eyes closed
- use of ice packs
- avoid strenuous activity
- removal of the blood if the eye pressure increases
- eye drops
- do not take aspirin or NSAIDs
Any injury to the eye can be frightening. It is vital to follow treatment instructions to obtain the best possible recovery. The complications following hyphema include:
- recurring bleeding
- damage to the cornea (causing permanently cloudy vision)
- loss of vision
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