What Is Hyphema?

What Is Hyphema?

Hyphema is caused by injury to the eye, most often during sports, and requires treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Hyphema is the accumulation of blood usually caused by injury. Beware of the symptoms and the need for immediate treatment to prevent any long-term damage to your vision.

Hyphema: An Overview
A hyphema is an accumulation of blood in the front part of the eye. It usually happens as the result of an injury that causes trauma or a tear to the iris.
Sometimes a broken blood vessel in the front of the eye is mistaken for a hyphema. But this common, harmless condition (called subconjunctival hemorrhage) does not hurt, whereas a hyphema is generally painful.

The most common cause of hyphema is trauma that results from something hitting your eye. Among the most common cases are kids injured playing sports; in fact, more than 70% of hyphema cases involve children.

Other less common causes of hyphema include abnormal blood vessels inside the eye, a result of eye surgery or blood clotting problems.

Symptoms of hyphema include:

  • Blood in the front of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pain in your eye
  • Blurry or clouded vision

If the hyphema is minor and not causing other issues, most people just need at-home treatment including rest and wearing an eye patch. This encourages the blood to clear and prevents additional bleeding. Blood from a hyphema can clog the drainage canals of the eye and cause an increase in eye pressure, which, if prolonged, can lead to glaucoma and optic nerve damage. Rarely, surgery is needed to repair the hyphema.

It is recommended a person with hyphema see their ophthalmologist often to monitor healing and eye pressure. A hyphema must be treated properly or it can cause permanent vision problems.

Since most hyphemas happen because of sports injuries, it’s important to wear the proper protective eyewear during sports and physical activities. Also, always wear safety glasses or goggles while using tools and doing anything that could cause something to be thrown into the eyes.
Taking care of your eyes means wearing protective eyewear during sports and other activities. Should an injury occur and result in a hyphema, it’s important to see a doctor for treatment and follow up. In the event of an injury or any other eye-related issue, Sterling Vision is here to help. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.