CORNEAL ABRASION

Your cornea is the clear layer on the front of your eyeball. It protects your eyeball from dust and germs and helps filter out harmful ultraviolet, UV, rays. The cornea also helps to focus light entering your eye. Although your cornea is composed of strong proteins, it can be injured. A slight cut or scratch, abrasion, is often minor. But a bad abrasion or a puncture to the cornea can be very serious and can affect your vision. These are medical emergencies.

Causes of Corneal Abrasion

Some of the main causes of a corneal abrasion are:

  • Anything hitting or blowing into the eye, such as sawdust or sand
  • Small particles getting stuck under your eyelid, such as dust, dirt or sand
  • Sports injuries
  • Contacts that are not fitted right or not maintained correctly
  • An object that pokes you in the eye
  • Rubbing the eyes too much
  • Eye conditions, such as a bacterial infection

Symptoms of Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion may cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the eye, which can get worse when the eye is opened or closed
  • The feeling that something is in your eye
  • Redness or tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Headache

Treatment

If you think you have something small in your eye, flush it with water right away. Pull your upper lid out and over your bottom lid to help increase the flow of tears across your eye. A minor corneal abrasion will heal on its own in a few days.

If these methods don’t work, call your doctor. Never try to remove an object from the eye that doesn’t flush out easily with water. Doing so may cause more damage.

For Minor Abrasions:

Minor abrasions are usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. You may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, or medication to reduce the pain. In some cases, you may wear a patch on your eye or sunglasses to lessen the symptoms. Most abrasions heal in a day or two. To help rule out more serious injuries, you may have one or more of the following tests:

  • A standard eye exam checks how well you can see.
  • A slit-beam exam uses a beam of light and a microscope to show your eye in detail.
  • A Seidel test uses a special dye to look for severe eye damage.

Depending on the results of these tests, you may be referred to an eye specialist, ophthalmologist.

For Serious Abrasions or Punctures:

You will be referred directly to an ophthalmologist for emergency treatment. An eye care professional is needed to minimize further damage and possible vision loss.

When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER)

Call 911 or your local emergency number if you have:

  • Severe eye pain
  • A puncture injury or bad abrasion
  • A particle in the eye that you can’t flush out with water
  • A very swollen or painful eye after removing an object
  • A chemical burn
  • An object embedded in your eye. Cover both eyes with a sterile compress and keep both eyes closed while you wait for help. Do not put any pressure on the eyes.

Follow-up

Call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms after returning home:

  • Fever over 101°F (38.3°C)
  • Increased redness or eye pain
  • Drainage from your eye
  • Blurred or decreased vision

What We Have Learned

  1. Your cornea is the clear layer on the front of your eyeball.
    True or False
    The answer is True.
  2. A corneal abrasion may cause the feeling that something is in your eye.
    True or False
    The answer is True.
  3. You should try to remove an object from the eye that doesn’t flush out easily with water.
    True or False
    The answer is False.

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KRAMES STAYWELL LLC.

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