The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. It covers the iris (colored portion of the eye) and the round pupil, much like a watch crystal covers the face of a watch. The cornea is composed of five layers. The outermost layer is called the epithelium.
What is a corneal abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is an injury (a scratch, scrape or cut) to the epithelium. Abrasions are commonly caused by fingernail scratches, paper cuts, makeup brushes, scrapes from tree or bush limbs and rubbing the eye. Some eye conditions, such as dry eye, increase the chance of an abrasion.
What are the symptoms of a corneal abrasion?
You may experience the following symptoms with a corneal abrasion:
- The feeling of having something in your eye
- Pain and soreness of the eye
- Redness of the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision.
How is a corneal abrasion treated?
Treatment may include the following:
- Patching the injured eye to prevent eyelid blinking from irritating the injury
- Applying lubricating eyedrops or ointment to the eye
- Using antibiotics to prevent infection
- Dilating (widening) the pupil to relieve pain
- Wearing a special contact lens to help healing.
Minor abrasions usually heal within a day or two; larger abrasions usually take about a week. It is important not to rub the eye while it is healing. Do not wear your usual contact lenses while the eye is healing. Ask Dr. Landa when you may start wearing your lenses again.