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Could a car crash leave you blind?

If you are like most people, you probably fear blindness above all other disabilities. In this visual world in which we all live, your eyes provide you with the vast majority of the ways you experience and navigate it. Losing your ability to see would therefore represent a catastrophic loss.

Ideal Eyecare reports that, unfortunately, about 25,000 people become partially or totally blind each year as the result of a car crash. Usually this occurs because of retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment

In the back of each of your eyes, your retinas, thin linings, allow light to pass into your optic nerves and thence to your brain, giving you the ability to see. When these retinas partially or completely detach, you lose some or all of this ability.

If you suffer a direct eye injury or a blow to your head in your car crash, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms that indicate retinal detachment:

  • Decreased or complete loss of your central or peripheral vision
  • Floaters in your eye(s)
  • Flashing lights in your eye(s)
  • Decreased overall vision, as though a gray curtain hangs in front of your eyes
  • Likely headache and nausea

Necessary treatment

If you experience any of the above after your car crash, you need immediate emergency medical assessment and treatment by an ophthalmologist. One of the most frighteningp things about retinal detachment is that (s)he has only about 24 hours in which to surgically repair the damage and save your vision. Without this intervention, your retinal detachment could result in your permanent partial or complete blindness.

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