Hyphema is a condition in which the anterior chamber of the eye found between the iris and the cornea is bleeding. This condition is usually caused by a direct injury or impact to the eye from a rounded object.
A hyphema can cause severe pain and if not treated properly, it can result to permanent problems with vision. In children, it can happen without warning or might be an indication of other underlying medical conditions such as sickle cell anemia or hemophilia.
Causes of hyphema
- Hyphema can be caused by a rounded object that hits the eye and there is bleeding in the next 3-5 days even without another trauma.
- This injury can be considered as closed trauma that can occur while playing various sports.
- Hyphema can also be caused by industrial accidents, fights and falls.
- Conditions that can cause hyphema include diabetes, anterior uveitis, cancer, sickle cell anemia, inflammation of the iris and abnormality in the blood vessels
- Blood can be seen on the surface of the eye. If the hyphema is large, the eye appears red and there is buildup of blood
- Pain in the eye
- Pain becomes severe as the pressure increases
- Partial or complete loss of vision
- Take plenty of rest and elevate the head of the bed as tolerated.
- Avoid rubbing the eye or place pressure on the eyeball. Cover the eyes with a clean cloth.
- Avoid giving aspirin or ibuprofen to prevent the bleeding from worsening. Take a mild pain medication such as acetaminophen to lessen the pain.
- Do not perform any strenuous activity
- Place drops of prescribed 1% atropine on the eye at least 3-4 times every day. Cover the affected eyes with an eye shield or guard to prevent the condition from worsening.
- Take medication to prevent the person from vomiting since it can cause straining and increases the pressure in the eye.
- If pressure in the eye becomes severe, take the prescribed medication such as a beta-blocker in the form of eye drops. An increase in pressure can be caused by obstruction on an area on the eye tissue due to the red blood cells.
- Wear protective eyewear such as goggles when playing sports or other protective gear suited. Avoid wearing glasses when performing any rough play or a dangerous physical activity.
- If there is pain in the eye or any problems with the vision, seek medical help immediately.