Corneal abrasion is a superficial scratch in the outer lens of the eye. It is usually caused by improper wearing of contact lenses or by particles that get lodged in the eye. A scratched cornea can be painful and alarming. Good thing is that the eyes are one of the quickest healers in the body and scratched corneas are easy to treat. Some of the symptoms of corneal abrasions include pain, redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, excessive tears, the feeling that there is an object or particle in the eye, and possible swelling of the eye.
Natural healing process
A scratch in the cornea can heal completely within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the severity, leaving no permanent damage when healed. During this time, the cells will reconnect the undamaged layers and renew the scratched part of the cornea. If you feel like you scratched your cornea, do not rub your eyes! It will only worsen the abrasion. Instead, flush your eyes with water to get rid of the object or particle that scratched your eye. Use a cold compress over your eye to keep it from swelling and lessen the pain. Keep your eyes closed and let it rest. If you cannot wait too long and the pain or discomfort is unbearable, you should contact an eye doctor in urbane scrubs to see if you need treatment.
Seeing an eye doctor
To ease the pain, anesthetic eye drops are typically used during examination and to prevent infection, an eye doctor will usually recommend antibiotic eye drops. After the treatment, the doctor will cover your eye with a tight eye patch to prevent your eyelid from moving. You will have to wear the eye patch for at least 24 hours so that the healing process will not be disturbed and so that it repairs quickly and smoothly.
What to avoid
Those who wear contact lenses should not wear it for the whole period of the treatment and healing period because it will only slow down the healing process. Also, the medication can cloud or stain soft lenses, thereby damaging it. Superficial cornea abrasions do not cause permanent blindness or loss of vision but it may blur your vision temporarily. Once your eye heals, it may take a few weeks before your clear vision returns (if you had clear vision before the abrasion). During this time, it is advised that you refrain from rubbing your eyes. This will slow down the healing process or even aggravate the abrasion.
In some instances, a corneal abrasion can spontaneously recur long after it has healed, usually occurring when you wake up in the morning. This happens when an area of the eye's epithelium failed to reconnect to the deeper layers of the cornea. When this happens, it is best to go to the eye doctor so that a special instrument can be used to form better connections between the layers of the cornea. The treatment will be similar to the one that was administered in the original abrasion. You can also ask your doctor about lubricants or ointments that you can use to prevent recurrent abrasions.