What is a Corneal Abrasion?
Like any part of your body, your eyes are sometimes subject to injury. Even a minor injury can result in a corneal abrasion, which occurs when the surface of the eye becomes scratched.
A corneal abrasion is often superficial. It can sometimes cause infection or inflammation under the surface of the eye, which can be very serious.
Any time you have a corneal abrasion, it’s a good idea to have your eyes checked by a medical professional to make sure there are no complications. Keep reading to learn more about corneal abrasions!
Symptoms of Corneal Abrasions
There are many things that can cause corneal abrasions. This can include dust and even your own contact lens.
Because the abrasion can be hard to see, you should be able to recognize the signs of a corneal abrasion. They include:
● Light sensitivity
● General eye pain
● Feeling like there’s grit in your eye
Sometimes, if there actually is something in your eye, rubbing it will cause an abrasion. When you do feel like there’s something in your eye, it’s always best to wash it out with sterile water or saline solution.
You can also blink and pull your upper lid over your lower lid to trigger tears to flush away the debris. This way, you can avoid an abrasion.
Treating An Abrasion
If you rinse your eyes and still experience these symptoms, it’s likely that you have a corneal abrasion. While you’re waiting for medical care, you can continue to wash your eye to ease symptoms.
Do not, under any circumstances, rub your eyes or try and remove anything stuck on the surface of your eye with your fingers or tweezers. Instead, keep your eye clean and make an appointment with an eye care professional as soon as possible.
If the abrasion isn’t severe, they will likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops to aid in healing. If the abrasion is large, a bandage contact lens may be used to keep the eye protected while healing.
When to Seek Emergency Care
A minor abrasion may not need emergency treatment. You should always make an appointment to have it looked at as soon as you can.
But a severe corneal abrasion or corneal injury may be a medical emergency under certain circumstances. If you experience severe pain and a change in vision immediately after an injury to your eye, you should seek care immediately.
Even if you don’t experience vision loss, if you’re hit in the eye with significant force, it’s always a good idea to receive emergency care. Also, if there’s a foreign object still stuck in your eye that’s too large to be rinsed out gently, you need emergency care.
When you do need emergency treatment for a corneal injury, have someone else drive you to urgent care or a hospital. Even if your vision seems okay at the moment, that could change.
Driving with limited vision puts you and other drivers in danger so don’t do it! Be cautious and have someone else drive you or call an emergency vehicle.
Have more questions about corneal abrasions or your eye health? Schedule an appointment at The Nielsen Eye Center in the greater Boston area!
Our Patient Advocates are on stand by waiting to talk to you about your vision care needs so give us a call at 617-471-5665! There’s never been a better time to make your eye care a priority.