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Hyphema

A Hyphema is an eye condition that refers to pooling or collection of blood inside the anterior chamber of the eye (between the cornea and the iris). The blood may cover the iris partially or totally including the pupil and thereby blocking the vision partly or completely. Trauma to the eye is the most common cause of Hyphema. Injury may take the form of blunt trauma, laceration trauma or abrasion.


Some of other conditions that cause Hyphema are:


  • Tumors in the eye
  • Abnormal blood vessels on the surface of the iris
  • Herpes virus(eye infection)
  • Intra-ocular lens problems (artificial lens implants)
  • Severe diabetes
  • Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia

Signs and symptoms of the Hyphema vary according to the severity of the condition. Mild Hyphema may not even be visible to the naked eye or a tiny spot of blood may show up which normally gets absorbed on its own. As the condition progresses, the patient experiences the following symptoms.


  • Impaired vision
  • Eye pain, blurring or loss of vision
  • Bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye
  • Light sensitivity or photophobia

Treatment

Vision and ocular pressure are checked and dilation is done to examine the fundus for retinal detachment or blood elsewhere in the eye. Visual acuity test and slit lamp test allow the eye doctor to check the internal structure of the eye for any other damage. The eye sockets and facial structures might need to be examined with a CT scan in case of severe trauma.

Mild cases of Hyphema heal on their own. When the bleeding is not severe, doctor may recommend certain guidelines to be practiced at home along with sedatives and pain relieving medications. These guidelines include covering the affected eye, elevating the head of the patient to help drain the fluid, bed rest and frequent monitoring of the eye condition. Avoid any medicines containing aspirin, arthritis and non-steroidal medication as it promotes bleeding.

Steroid eye drops are prescribed to control inflammation and pain. Severe cases of Hyphema require an aggressive approach. You can use an eye shield or protective eyewear to prevent the eye from any further injury. If elevated is noticed, blood is drained through surgical intervention to prevent glaucoma or cornea damage.


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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 11, 2019