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Eye Injuries require Eye Doctor Evaluation

This adorable four year-old presented to my office with a history of getting hit with a "rubber band" two days before. Why hadn't mom brought him in earlier? Because the pediatrician took a look at him with a penlight, put him on some drops, and deemed him to be okay. But mom trusted her instincts that things weren't quite right, and when she brought her son into the office, I learned that the story wasn't a simple rubber band, but rather a large retention band that held a bag of charcoal briquets together. And while mom was cooking outside, the little boy and his friend were playing tug of war with the thick band, stretching it, until WHAM! It struck him in the eye. Mom took the picture above shortly after the injury. Besides his frowning mouth, the pediatrician missed an important finding beyond the eye looking red and irritated. Can you detect it? Here's a clue...the boy was not born with the two different colored eyes. Why is the injured eye darker and not icy blue in color? Because there is blood inside the eye, also called a hyphema. The blood gets dispersed like a red cloud in the anterior chamber of the eye, and in the photo below, you can actually see the thin layer of blood as it gets layered along the bottom crescent, like falling snow mounding up.

So what's the message? Eye injuries, even minor eye injuries, require the high technology microscopes and tools in the office of an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The pediatrician's or family doctor's penlights often don't see the detail needed to make an accurate diagnosis needed for proper treatment.* -- Paul Krawitz, M.D., C.E.O. VisiVite.Com

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