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Date of last update: 9/4/2017.

Forum Name: Eye diseases (Ophthalmology)

Question: Eye injury from paintball


jillyb118 - Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:12 pm

On March 30, 2005 my son (17) was accidentally shot in the eye from approximately 6 foot away with a paintball gun. As this happened when a friend was assembling the gun there was no eye protection. He has seen an eye doctor/surgeon who is monitoring him. Hyphema is present, IOP is 21, abrasions and lacerations to the cornea and white of the eye as well. Vision is reduced to only recognizing that there is movement at an arms length away without detail. He said that there is severe bruising to the retina and that the blood in the anterior chamber will be reabsorbed. The pupil in the injured eye is fixed and dilated. What causes that? As the eye heals will the pupil return to normal and with this kind of injury are the chances of regaining full vision in the injured eye good? Any advice on home treatment to increase the chances of this?
Dr. Heba Ismail - Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:38 pm

Hello jillyb118,
I'm afraid I'm not an ophthalmologist, but would like to help nonetheless!
Here are a few things you should know that you may find helpful.
First of all, you have to know that nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be absolutely avoided in your sons case.
A patient with a hyphema who has a normal IOP is usually treated with corticosteroids and cycloplegics, but that depends on what your doctor recommends. IOP reduction is usually necessary if it is higher than 30 mm Hg.
Patients with early IOP elevation following blunt trauma should be reexamined every 4-6 weeks during the first year to monitor the condition. Some early cases are self-limited, but patients should continue to be observed after the condition has appeared to resolve. Other early cases represent a severe form of the disease that may be refractory to standard medical treatment; such cases warrant more frequent follow up.
Blunt eye trauma can interfere with the function of the nerve supply to the iris (parasympathetic nerves) resulting in dilation of the pupil.
As for retinal involvement and vision, ultimate outcome depends upon time, degree of damage and whether the macula (central part of the retina) is involved or not.

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