Hyphema is characterized by either collection of blood or bleeding in the region between cornea and iris of eye. The blood gets collected in a manner that it covers almost the entire part of the pupil and iris causing blurred vision.
A small hyphema will be difficult to locate when the eye is seen in the mirror. However, in case of total hyphema, it can even block the iris and pupil, which would cause blurred vision. Individuals with hyphema would present with the following signs and symptoms:
A preliminary physical examination along with complete medical history would be gathered. Information about trauma or injury to the eye is necessary, to understand the etiology behind development of hyphema. The following tests would be done to diagnose the condition:
Treating hyphema is focused on clearing off the accumulated blood, arresting bleeding and decreasing the intraocular pressure. Individuals are advised bed rest for several days. The eyes are protected with help of shield and the head is kept at an elevated level. For alleviating the pain and inflammation, steroidal and dilating eye drops are prescribed .
Individuals are advised against consumption of any kind of drug that contains aspirin or ibuprofen. This is because; the antiplatelet action of aspirin can significantly increase the risk of recurrent bleeding in patients with traumatic hyphema .
Patients with sickle cell anemia, who have developed hyphema as a secondary condition, are susceptible to develop various complications such as irreversible damage to the optic nerve and glaucoma when the intraocular pressure remains high for long duration. In addition, affected individuals are also at risk of several complications such as impaired vision and recurrent bleeding.
Surgery is the last resort and it is employed when other conservative approach fail to clear off the blood.
Several studies have postulated the advantage of systemic aminocaproic acid for preventing recurrent hemorrhage. Aminocaproic acid has an antifibrinolytic property which is useful for prevention of secondary hemorrhage in other areas of body as well .
Prognosis of the condition greatly depends on the underlying etiology. The nature and severity of the injury will have a significant impact on the vision of the individual. If hyphema has occurred due to sickle cell anemia, individuals would have to be closely monitored. Those with diabetes will require laser treatment to correct the condition. Severe loss in vision can occur in affected individuals .
Blunt injury due to physical trauma through a deliberate punch in the eye is the major factor. In addition, certain underlying disease condition can lead to onset of hyphema in children. These include, advanced stage of diabetes and blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and hemophilia; in such cases, children seldom experience any signs. Abnormalities concerning the blood vessels, eye infections and iris inflammation also significantly contribute to onset of hyphema. Individuals who have used lens implants can also develop bleeding in the eye’s anterior chamber .
The incidence of hyphema has been estimated to be 17 to 20 per 100,000 individuals each year in the US. Individuals of all age groups can develop the condition .
Eyes are a sensitive part of the body. Any injury or trauma to the eyes can be a matter of serious concern. Such factors can cause bleeding in the eye’s anterior chamber which in turn can lead to significant elevation in the intraocular pressure. The bleeding occurs when the blood vessels in the iris get disrupted. This can be a sign of ocular contusion which is characterized by swelling in the cornea as well as retina, iris rupture and a dislocated lens. In instances, when the surrounding tissues of the eye suffer the impact, there may be signs of lid laceration, orbital bone fractures accompanied by orbital hemorrhage .
Hyphema is a painful condition, majorly caused due to trauma or blunt injury . The disorder can signal onset of ocular contusion. Prompt medical intervention is necessary for preventing secondary complications from setting in. Individuals are advised to make use of protective eyewear while playing sports to prevent such kinds of injuries .
Definition: Hyphema is defined as accumulation of blood in the front portion of the eye. A reddish tinge may be visible in the eyes in case of small hyphema. However, when there is total hyphema, pool of blood may be noticed.
Symptoms: Due to development of hyphema, the vision can get blurred and eyes become sensitive to light. This may be accompanied by pain and inflammation. Blood pool may be visible to the eye if total hyphema has occurred.
Diagnosis: Preliminary physical examination of the eye will be done to understand the extent of hyphema that has developed. Various tests would be necessary to rule out underlying disease conditions or presence of infections or tumors as the cause may be. In many cases, CT scan or B scan would also be required.
Treatment: Treatment involves complete bed rest for couple of days until the accumulated blood has cleared off. The head is kept at an elevated level and eyes are protected by a shield. Steroidal eye drops are administered for reducing pain and inflammation. Surgery is the last resort and it is employed when treatment approaches fail.