Car accidents are the leading cause of injury in the United States, but some studies show they may also be the leading cause of eye injury.
One cross-sectional study used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) from 2001 to 2008 to see the scope of emergency care of eye injuries and found that 62.2% of all of them were caused by vehicle collisions.
One common eye injury that can occur after a car accident is retinal detachment. By itself, it’s painless and may take a while to spot (literally) the symptoms. However, if left untreated, it can result in permanent loss of vision.
What Is It?
A detached retina happens when a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. This causes the retinal cells to separate from the blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to them, meaning that, over time, these cells starve and die, causing permanent loss of sight in the affected eye.
People with retinal detachment don’t feel any pain, but they do experience these warning signs:
- Floaters, or specks that seem to drift through your field of sight
- Blurred vision
- Flashes of light
- Gradually reduced peripheral vision
- A shadow over your field of sight
There are many different reasons why the retina might detach, including old age. But it can also occur after car accidents if there is trauma to the eye, which is known as exudative retinal detachment. In this case, fluid accumulates beneath the retina and eventually causes it to move out of place.
When to See a Doctor
Though it’s painless, retinal detachment is considered a medical emergency, and time is of the essence. It’s vital to have immediate intervention that can restore your retinal cells’ access to blood cells to prevent them from dying.
If you’ve been directly struck in the eye or near the eye region, it’s best to see a doctor right away to get checked. If not, pay attention to the warning signs, and if you notice any one of them, go to the emergency room right away.
Immediate medical attention will also greatly help if you plan on seeking compensation from the driver who caused the car accident.
If you’re looking to get compensated for your eye injuries, or other costs created by a car accident, you should reach out to an experienced St. Louis car injury lawyer for help. You’ll most likely need to show how your injury connects with the car accident, as well as to prove you were not responsible for the collision (Missouri is an at-fault state, meaning your compensation can be lowered if you were even partially responsible for the car accident).
An experienced lawyer can fight to get you fair compensation. To speak with one at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242.