Looking after your eyes: Corneal Abrasions (scratches)

Corneal abrasions are a small scratch on the cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye. They are generally caused by trauma to the front surface of the eye.

Common causes include a fingernail scratching the eye, walking into something, getting grit in the eye or by inserting and removing contact lenses.

What to look out for:

Corneal abrasions are extremely painful. This is because the cornea (clear window at the front of the eye) has a high nerve supply. Other symptoms you may experience are redness, watering and sensitivity to bright light.

Treatment for Corneal Abrasions:

If you experience the above symptoms it is important to see an eye specialist as early as possible. Jayson’s examinations include; checking for any trapped particles and grit in the eye and under the eyelids, checking for signs of infection, and inflammation in and around the eye.

Treatment consists of lubricating eye drops or ointment and possibly antibiotic eye drops.

Wearing sunglasses often helps to reduce the light sensitivity. Regular painkillers will help with pain control. It is important not to rub or touch your eyes.

If you wear contact lenses, don’t use them until the abrasion is completely healed. You will need to see your contact lens practitioner after finishing treatment for the abrasion before you restart contact lens wear again.

The pain will get better as your eye heals, but this can take between 24 and 48 hours. If the abrasion involves the central part of your cornea, your vision could also be temporarily affected.

If your eye becomes increasingly red or painful after treatment, or your sight becomes increasingly blurred, you should contact us immediately.

Come and talk to one of our eye specialists at Jaysons about any of your eye health concerns.

Article written by

Mr K.Lakhani BSc MCOptom Dip Tp Ip

Specialist Optometrist

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