Thursday 26 September 2013
Working in Montréal today -- Ocular Blunt Trauma
Good morning folks,
I will be working in Montréal today.
Hey kids, ever wonder what happens to your eyeball when it gets hit with a speeding ball?
First thing, as the energy of the ball is imparted into the eyeball, the cornea starts to flatten out turning the eyeball into a flatter ovoid shape or into a disk, this results in the intra-ocular pressure to rise rapidly. This is largely because the eyeball has nowhere to go. Immediately behind the eye is the Sphenoid bone, it's the back and upper outer side boundary of the socket. To the inward side the Lacrimal bone sits, and the lower outside in bounded by the Zygomatic bone.
Yes, the same bones that are there to protect the eye and brain can hold it in place like your big brother holding that kid the stole your bicycle when you were 9 so you could punch him, but then in your debut as 'Flailing Arms Puckett' you ended up punching him in the ear. The right hook that wasn't. Yeah, that's right -you read correctly, a bit of street justice. Word up.
Back to the eye. And yes, another bone of note, the Supraorbital Process which forms your eye brow and the upper boundary of the socket.
Now as the eye's anterior chamber is compressed the pupil rapidly dilates like high school student's on pot, so rapid that tearing may occur, not so funny now is it Stoner?
The damage continues.. The aqueous humor (the liquid that nourishes the front of the eye) is pushed peripherally damaging the drainage channels which can result in secondary problems like Glaucoma (not for dipping tacos). The increased tension and pressure on the peripheral iris can cause separation from its root, and what the hell, while we are at it, severe bleeding - the hallmark of any good intra ocular blunt trauma. But there's more!
Detachment of the retina, secondary hemorrhaging, corneal and optic nerve damage, that's if the eyeball actually stays in place! Consider the vacuum effect of a compressible ball such as a racquetball, as the ball shape deflects into the eye socket, a vacuum can form and as the ball return to shape on its rebound exit from the socket, can pull the eye free from the confines of connective tissue and eyelids. Ew.
But all of this can be prevented.
Eye protection, sports safety equipment, goggles aka glasses.
And yesterday Alun (it's like Alan, but Welsh) demonstrated the handiness of such. Tony (playing front) and I (playing back) were playing against Alun (playing front) and Larry (playing back) when I played the ball with a forehand shot after it came off the back glass.
For some reason.. Alun had just looked back. Whack! He took the ball cleanly and directly into his glasses. The force pushed his glasses into his eyebrow, compressing the flesh between glasses and his Supraorbital Process, rupturing some small internal blood vessels along the way and also pushed into his nose, cutting the skin layering his Nasal Bone. Ouch.
Brian had been standing, watching the game from behind the back glass and rushed in to take Alun and get the blood cleaned up. Not because Brian is an humanitarian, but because he says that fresh blood on the wood court floor scares off new players. I disappeared for a moment and returned with a chem-ice bag to help Alun control the inevitable swelling, and to relax my guilt a bit.
The great news, after 30 minutes on the bench with the chem-ice, Alun looked almost good as new. Yay safety equipment.
Have a great day -- play safe.