With the Holiday season upon us, kids are spotting new toys that they want. Whether its a new stuffed animal, action figure, or doll, there is always something catching their eye. Recently, though, a popular toy has come under scrutiny for it’s potential to cause eye injuries.

A recent BMJ Case Report noted several eye injuries related to Nerf Blasters, a toy gun created by Hasbro that shoots toy darts. Patients recorded in the study all had hyphema, a pooling of the blood inside the eye, from the darts in the Nerf Blaster. These toys are purchased because they are fun and exciting, but many parents don’t realize they can cause serious eye traumas.

Eye injuries in general can be tough to deal with, and most eye injuries look worse than they actually are.  Here are some of the most common eye injuries to look out for this holiday season, along with preventative steps and when you should go see your doctor.

Most common eye injuries

  • Hyphemas: As mentioned previously, this common eye injury has to do with blood in the anterior chamber of the eye, which is between the pupil and the cornea. This type of injury is typically caused by excessive force.
  • Cornea Scratch: It is easy to accidentally get a small piece of metal or ice stuck in your eye, which can scratch the cornea. This can happen when you or your child might rub your eyes too roughly, hurting your eye in the process. You may experience excessive watering of the eye or cloudy vision.
  • Bruising around the eye: Most of the time, this occurs when kids are playing roughly, or involved in sports. This is a very common injury among kids and typically involves bruising or swelling of the eye.

There are, of course, many more eye-related injuries, but these are just a few.

How to prevent an eye injury

The best way to avoid eye injuries, especially hyphemas and bruising, is to wear protective eye-wear when playing sports or games where objects are being thrown. This can look silly, and you might even feel embarrassed, but this is the best way to protect your eyes long term.

To avoid particles scratching your cornea, remember to wash your hands frequently. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes too hard in order to prevent any dust or metal pieces from scratching your cornea. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you frequently clean them. Dust particles can also stick to glasses, making it easier for your eye to get scratched.

 What to do if you have an eye injury

If your eye starts showing signs of hyphema, scratched cornea, bruising, or any eye-related wounds, it is always best to see a doctor immediately. While these may seem like minor injuries, they can sometimes lead to more severe conditions.

Stop by your local Zip Clinic® and see a health care professional about any non-emergency medical care at any of our seven locations. Our convenient and extended hour service is offered in Denver, Aurora and Westminster, Colorado; Bozeman and Belgrade, Montana; and Bowling Green and Elizabethtown, Kentucky. No appointment is needed; simply stop in and see a doctor for your health needs.