Eye Injuries & Surgeries Needed After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a life-changing experience, causing severe injuries and sometimes permanent disabilities. Eye injuries are common among car accident victims and can cause vision problems or even blindness.

Damage from the impact of the accident, debris, or broken glass can cause a range of eye injuries, some of which are not immediately apparent. Being aware of the types of eye injuries that can occur in a car accident can help you protect your eyes and seek prompt medical attention if necessary.

Eye Injuries As a Result of an Auto Accident

Car accidents can cause a range of eye injuries, from minor scratches to severe injuries that can cause permanent vision loss. It is crucial to seek prompt medical attention if you experience any eye-related symptoms after a car accident. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye injuries can help prevent complications and improve your chances of a full recovery.

Below, we outline some of the most common types of eye injuries that can occur in a car accident:

Corneal Abrasions

A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the cornea, the clear front part of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil. Corneal abrasions can be caused by foreign objects such as broken glass, dust, or sand that come into contact with the eye during a car accident. Symptoms of a corneal abrasion include:

  • pain,
  • redness, and
  • sensitivity to light.

Treatment of corneal abrasions may involve antibiotics, eye drops or ointments, and wearing an eye patch to protect the area. In severe cases, doctors may recommend surgery to repair deeper cuts on your cornea using stitches or laser treatments.

Corneal Limbic Ring

A direct impact on the eye can cause an abrasion of the cornea. A corneal limbal ring occurs when a raised white ring appears around the eye. This can be painful, and depending on how deep the wound is, it could require eye surgery. Common symptoms can include:

  • eye redness,
  • light sensitivity,
  • corneal edema, or
  • swelling in the cornea.

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns can occur if chemicals such as gasoline or battery acid come into contact with the eyes during a car accident. Symptoms of a chemical burn include severe pain, redness, and blurred vision. Treatment for chemical burns depends on the severity of the injury and the type of chemical involved but may include:

  • washing the affected area with water or saline,
  • administering eye drops or ointments, and
  • in severe cases, surgery.


Hyphema is a common injury that occurs in auto accidents when the eye suffers a trauma after being hit by a great force, causing significant bleeding between the cornea and the iris. This internal bleeding may block the patient's vision, and in severe cases of hyphema, surgery may be necessary to restore function.

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment happens when the retina, the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, is separated from its underlying tissues. The trauma caused by a car accident can cause the retina to detach or tear, which can result in blindness if left untreated. Treatment for retinal detachment may involve laser therapy, cryotherapy, or surgery. Symptoms of retinal detachment include:

  • visual disturbances,
  • flashes of light, and
  • a sudden increase in the number of floaters in the eye.

Orbital Fractures

Orbital fractures happen when the bones surrounding the eye are broken due to the impact of a car accident. Symptoms of an orbital fracture may include swelling, bruising, and a sunken eye socket. Treatment for orbital fractures depends on the severity of the injury but may involve surgery to repair the broken bones.

Traumatic Iritis

Traumatic iritis is an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil. Traumatic iritis can be caused by the impact of debris or broken glass during a car accident. Symptoms of traumatic iritis include pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. Treatment for traumatic iritis may include:

  • eye drops,
  • ointments, or
  • in severe cases, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

Eye Surgery After a Car Accident

Eye surgery is a specialized field of medicine that can be used to address a variety of eye conditions. Retinal detachment, orbital fractures, hyphema, chemical burns, and corneal abrasions are all serious eye issues that require medical attention. Depending on the severity of the condition, different types of eye surgeries may be necessary to treat these issues.

For retinal detachment, a vitrectomy is typically performed. This procedure involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye and replacing it with a gas or silicone oil bubble in order to reattach the retina to the back wall of the eye. In cases where there is severe damage to the retina or optic nerve, a scleral buckle may be needed to help reposition and secure the retina in place.

Orbital fractures can occur due to trauma or injury and require surgical intervention in order to repair any damage done to the bones surrounding the eye socket. During this type of surgery, an oculoplastic surgeon will use titanium plates and screws to stabilize and reconstruct any broken bones in order for them to heal properly.

Hyphema is a condition where blood accumulates within the front chamber of the eye due to trauma or injury. In some cases, surgery may be required in order to remove any excess blood from this area as well as repair any damage done by it. Chemical burns can also cause significant damage to the eyes if not treated quickly and appropriately. Surgery may be needed in order for doctors to remove any damaged tissue from within the eyes as well as restore vision if possible.

No matter what type of issue you have with your eyes, it’s important that you seek out medical attention right away so that proper treatment can be administered before further complications arise. With today’s advanced technology and techniques available for treating various types of eye conditions, there are many options available for restoring vision and improving overall health when it comes to eye surgeries.

Get Legal Help

If you have sustained eye injuries due to the negligence of another driver, it is crucial to consult an experienced car accident lawyer to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C., our attorneys have over 150 years of collective experience, and we have an in-depth understanding of how to navigate car accident claims.

Contact our firm online or via phone at (770) 629-0154 to schedule a free initial consultation.