The cornea is the transparent layer on the front surface of the eye. When the cornea is scratched by a tree branch, contact lens, fingernail, or other object, the injury is called a corneal abrasion. It is one of the most common eye injuries.
Symptoms of a Corneal Abrasion
A corneal abrasion can cause pain or significant discomfort, redness, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, tearing, the feeling of having something in the eye, and even a headache.
Diagnosis of a Corneal Abrasion
To diagnose a corneal abrasion, the eye doctor will examine the affected eye with an instrument called a slit lamp. They may also apply a dye (fluorescein) to the eye to evaluate the extent of the injury.
Treatment of a Corneal Abrasion
Treatments may include one or a combination of: antibiotic ointment or drops, artificial tears or even a bandage contact lens for pain relief. The doctor will determine the best course of treatment depending on the cause and severity of the abrasion.
Minor abrasions tend to heal within two-three days. Larger or more severe abrasions may take a week or longer to fully heal. Depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment prescribed, the doctor may schedule a follow up as soon as the next day. Corneal abrasions are followed closely until fully healed.
Sometimes complications arise such as permanent scarring or recurrent corneal erosions, which can cause discomfort and may affect vision.
If you think you may have suffered a corneal abrasion or any eye injury, contact Vista Eye Center at 520-625-5673 for an appointment.