Ah yes, ‘tis this season for Christmas cookies, lights, and movies. My personal favorite, A Christmas Story (1983), takes place right here in Indiana – Santa, Red Ryder BB Guns, Bunny suits, and duck dinners – what more could you ask for in a Christmas movie? If you have seen the movie (stop now if you don’t want to read a spoiler!), I am sure you know where this is going. Ralphie shoots his eye out.
Funny enough, the same thing happened to a 12 year old boy this past summer. The patient visited Robert Simon, OD in June 2012, only to have them notice a “bump” under his right eye. After further inquisitions, it was brought to the surfaces that he was shot in the right eye with a BB gun 9 months prior in October 2011. After a little help and work a BB 5mm in diameter was removed. His eye had inferior conjunctiva and was irritated. Two weeks later, the patient had no problems and perfectly healthy eyes.
In all reality, air-powered projectiles can cause hyphema, corneal contusion, corneal abrasion, traumatic iritis, commotion retinas, and traumatic mydriasis. In the most extreme cases, BB guns can penetrate the ocular globe of the eye resulting in complete visual compromise. Such injuries can leave the eye with 15/20 to light perception. The overall percentage of patients who require surgery after this type of injury is 10%, according to Review of Optometry magazine.
If your child happens to suffer from this type of injury, get him or her to the closest optometrist immediately. Dr Tavel has 20 locations and convenient hours in all locations. There is nothing that could change a Christmas like shooting your eye out – and, of course, you wouldn’t want to prove all the teachers and parents right!