When the eye’s cornea gets scratched, its known as corneal abrasion. The cornea is one of the most important parts of the eyes and is a clear, protective lining just above the iris, which is the colored black / brown portion of the eye, and the pupil. Corneal abrasions are usually not very serious and minor ones gets treated naturally by washing the eyes repeatedly.
But if the protective layer is damaged due to the scratches, poking of the eye, dirt trapped under the eye lid, or any vigorous rubbing in the eye – you do need immediate clinical consultation. Significant pain and discomfort in the eye will assure you of corneal abrasion in the eye.
There are many causes that lead to corneal abrasions like –
- Any poking into the eye like plant, fingernail or may be make up brush
- Any foreign matter getting into the eye like sawdust, dirt, ash, sand, or some other foreign matter that gets caught under the eyelid
- Aggressive rubbing of the eye
- Chemical burns
- Poor quality, incorrectly fitted or dirty contact lenses
- Eye infections
- Unprotected eyes during surgery and under general anesthesia; often eyes dry out during surgery making corneal abrasion a common after effect
The signs and symptoms of corneal abrasion necessarily do not show up immediately thus, the cause is difficult to understand always. The first instruction is NOT to rub your eyes if you feel that something has got into it. There are ways to prevent corneal abrasion, here are few of them –
- Blink eyes several times.
- Pull the upper eyelid on top of the lower one.
- Take sterile solution to wash your eyes thoroughly. DO NOT rub.
- Never do a self attempt to remove the foreign particle on the eyes yourself; consult the doctor for this.
Symptoms of Corneal Abrasion
Here are some signs and symptoms of corneal abrasion to help you to be sure about the situation –
- Discomfortable feelings like you have dirt and grit in the eyes.
- Pain in the eyes especially while closing and opening it.
- Redness in the eye
- Blurred / loss of vision
- Eyes becoming light sensitive
Treatment of Corneal Abrasion
On the very first place, antibiotic eye drops or ointment are prescribed to prevent any kind of infection possibilities. To alleviate the inflammation and pain, you can use medicated eye drops recommended by a doctor. If the scratches are extended and severely painful, the doctor might do a temporary patch on the cornea and also give medication for the pain.
Minor corneal abrasions heal by its own within 3-4 days; however severe ones might take time to heal. Permanent eye damage due to corneal abrasions are rare unless its a real severe one. However, any kind of unusual symptoms should be reported to the doctor within a week.