The lens in the eye is found behind the pupil and assists in providing clear vision by directing light towards the retina. When the supporting and very thin ligaments are disturbed, often through being knocked out of position, the lens can become dislocated. The injury is not necessarily serious but can leave permanent symptoms.
Symptoms of Lens Dislocation
Blurred vision is the most prominent symptom, though this depends on the severity of the lens dislocation. A lens only partially detached can sometimes occur asymptomatically, whereas blurred vision most regularly strikes those with full dislocation or detachment. This is due to the lens moving away from the line of vision and settling unnaturally in the vitreous humour. The greater the intensity of blurring, the more detachment this suggests. Another possible symptom is shaking of the iris caused by the surrounding ligaments becoming weakened or broken.
Causes of Lens Dislocation
In sports and other physical activities, lens dislocation is usually provoked by direct trauma to the globe of the eye. Blows to the upper face like this can be sustained during many sports due to accidents, but are a continual risk to boxers and martial artists, and are more common in contact sports such as rugby or football or sports involving fast moving projectiles like tennis or cricket balls. The injury can also be hereditary, and in that case it is likely to be linked to other conditions that cause weakness in the ligaments, such as Marfan syndrome or aniridia; please check with a doctor.
Medical Attention for Lens Dislocation
Consult your doctor so that they can diagnose the condition using a relevant eye exam, often implementing eye drops to dilate the pupil and improve visibility of the lens. They will be able to identify any possible cataract complications or associated disorders, such as glaucoma or iritis. They can also determine whether all of the fine ligaments are broken and the lens is fully detached, or whether the dislocation is only partial.
Corrective Measures or Treatment for Lens Dislocation
Unfortunately in most cases, especially those involving total lens detachment, the injury remains due to the inability of the ligaments to reattach. This means that any symptoms such as blurry vision will persist, and need to be corrected using methods such as seeking appropriate glasses or contact lenses. However if the injury is accompanied by another condition then surgery might be necessary to replace the lens with an artificial alternative. The doctor should check the state of the affected eye at regular intervals, as surgical options may also be considered following an initial period of conservative corrective measures if the problem becomes more serious.
Prevention of Lens Dislocation
In order to protect the eyes from traumatic strikes, always wear the correct recommended equipment for potentially risky activities. Headgear is available for boxers and martial artists, and helmets for various sports. Eyewear or goggles can also be vital in directly shielding the eyes from injury, especially from a hard blow coming from a ball, bat, or the elbow or fist of a fellow athlete.
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