Cornea is a highly innervated protective covering over the iris and the pupil. Any scratch on the eye’s cornea epithelium is called a corneal abrasion. It normally occurs when corneal surface is scraped away due to external physical forces like eye injury, stoke by paper pieces, make up applicators or finger nails etc. This could cause damage on the cornea when hit by force. The blinking reflex protects the eye from injuries but sometimes accidently injuries do occur. Cornea is very sensitive and any scrapping or scratch could be very painful as they have more nerve endings that transmit pain. Corneal abrasion is not contagious. Mild corneal abrasions do not affect vision but in case the abrasion is deep it could impair vision.
- Pain in the eye while opening or closing and discomfort.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurred vision.
- Loss of vision.
- Eye Trauma or Injury.
- Chemical burns.
- Presence of foreign particle.
- Misuse of contact lenses.
- Aggressive rubbing.
- Corneal dry out due to lack of sufficient protection during surgery.
The evaluation of injured eye is conducted through examination with the help of opthalmoscope, slit lamp microscope and fluorescein instillation. The vision is also checked. The symptoms and causes are discussed during the examination to understand the extent of the abrasion.
Depending on the size and severity of the damage on the cornea the duration of healing varies and sometimes corneal abrasions can cause recurring irritations. In case of advanced corneal abrasion issues surgical line of treatment is performed. Generally medication is prescribed to reduce the pain. Usually mild abrasions are expected to heal within a day or two or longer depending on the healing. In case the scar is too deep and if it impairs vision corneal transplant may also be required.
Studies suggest eye patching does not have significant outcome in the treatment process for corneal incision hence mostly avoided. In case you have any allergies or past eye medication you need to inform in order to avoid any adverse reaction with certain medications. Contact lenses wearers need to discontinue lenses until healing is complete. Eye makeup should not be used till complete healing. Avoid rubbing or any kind of experiment to remove the foreign particle by oneself.
The most common treatments for corneal abrasion are:
- Eye drops: Eye drops are normally prescribed to keep the eye lubricated.
- Bandage contact lenses: Bandage contact lenses with antibiotic and mild steroidare used to facilitate healing.
- Others: Micro-puncture of the epithelium /Removal of the damaged epithelium.
Prevention: Corneal abrasions are preventable.
- Do not rub your eyes in case you experience any discomfort or irritation.
- Use of protective eye wear: Certain jobs, sports etc have high risk factor for corneal abrasion. Hence protective eye wear must be utilized for eye safety.
- Beware while playing with pets like cats, dogs as it could unintentionally scratch the eye while playing.
- Contact lenses: Precautions and directions to be followed while fixing or removal of contact lenses. Practice excellent hygienewhile using contact lenses.
- Environmental precautions: Avoid dusty environment. Use sufficient eye protective measures.
- Do not touch the eye with unclean hands, cotton swabs or any other material to remove any foreign body.
- Ensure infants have their finger nails trimmed.
In case you experience any symptoms, do get in touch with us.