Eye injury in a class by itself

May 1, 2012
Lynda Charters

Though advances have been made in achieving better functional vision in some patients with ocular injuries, the overall rates of improvements in visual acuity have remained static for three decades.

Orlando, FL-Though advances have been made in achieving better functional vision in some patients with ocular injuries, the overall rates of improvements in visual acuity have remained static for three decades.

Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, presented his ideas about what ophthalmologists have and have not learned about ocular injuries as he delivered the Helen Keller Lecture, "1981–2011: Have We Made Progress in the Management of Ocular Injuries?" during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Over the past decades, clinicians have learned to classify eye injuries as closed or open globe injuries.

Open injuries can be classified further as limited to the anterior segment with or without lens damage or involving the posterior segment with extensive corneal injury, with extensive choroidal hemorrhages, with infection, with an intraocular foreign body, and with no light perception.

A number of different systems of classification of types of injuries have been developed, according to Dr. Sternberg, and are helpful for determining the type of injury and the prognosis. Although the classification systems often emphasize anatomic aspects of the injury, the relevant prognostic factors reflect the functional status of the eye: the presenting visual acuity and the presence or absence of a relative afferent pupillary defect.

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