Injuries to the eye and dry eyes: the connection

The lacrimal glands constantly produce liquid so that the cornea is supplied with all the important nutrients and the eye is protected against environmental influences. Spontaneous blinking spreads this lacrimal fluid evenly over the eye. Both mechanisms can be disrupted if there is an injury to the eye.

Chemical burns are always an eye emergency.
Chemical burns are always an eye emergency.

Various injuries lead to dry eyes

There are different injuries which can interfere with the interplay between the lacrimal fluid and the surface of the eye. These include:

 

  • Traumatic brain injury in the case of an injury to the seventh cranial nerve, which stimulates the lacrimal glands.
  • Injuries to the eye tissue such as burns, chemical burns or abrasion.
  • Lacerations or contuse wounding of the eyelids.
  • Operations in the eye area.

 

The latter mainly applies to laser correction of ametropia (e.g. LASIK): here, a dry eye is a known side effect especially if the patient had mild symptoms before the operation. Dry eyes occur due to fine nerves in the cornea having been cut through during the operation. The result is a loss of sensitivity of the surface of the cornea, which amounts to a dysfunction. If the eye is too dry, the cornea can no longer transmit a signal to the lacrimal gland that it should make more lacrimal fluid. The result is the classic symptoms of dry eyes:

 

Eye injury: what to do?

An injury in the eye area should not be taken lightly even if it seems apparently harmless, since it is possible, even with minor injuries, for germs to get into the eye and possibly cause infections and inflammation. Also, serious long-term effects are possible after an eye injury, such as permanent deterioration of vision. For this reason, injuries to the eye should always be treated by a doctor.

 

In some cases, you still have to administer first aid to your eye yourself:

      • First of all, you can try to rinse foreign bodies out with water/liquid. If you are not successful, you will have to consult a doctor so that they can immediately remove the foreign body. Even if it works, you should let a doctor take a look at your eye.
      • Chemical burns to the eye are emergencies. If acids or alkaline solutions get into the eye, the eye must be rinsed immediately with a lot of water. Then you should be brought straight away to a doctor or an eye clinic in order to avoid long-term effects.
      • If a foreign body, such as a metal cutting, is stuck deep into the cornea, you must under no circumstances pull this out. Leave it where it is and cover the wound with a sterile cloth from the first aid kit, or with just a handkerchief (no additional ointments). Call the doctor on call so that they can expertly remove the foreign body and administer the correct treatment.

An eye injury requires special treatment

Minor injuries to the eye can be well treated afterwards with nurturing eye drops. You should also take proper care of your eyes after an operation so that they can recover.

 

HYLO® CARE eye drops with hyaluronan and dexpanthenol have a wound-healing effect due to their lubrication properties and they support the regeneration of the cornea and conjunctiva. They can be used after superficial eye injuries or after operations. HYLO® CARE  lubricating eye drops are not only the products of choice for supporting the eye with wound healing, they also give long-lasting moisture and, above all, restore the cornea’s natural protective barrier.

 

If, following an operation, the productsion of lacrimal fluid should be restricted or interrupted, a dose of replacement fluid is indispensable for the health of the eye. HYLO®-GEL lubricating eye drops help the healing and regeneration of the surface of the eye and have a more viscous consistency: the drops thus remain for a particularly long time on the eye yet do not hinder vision.