• Can visual distortion from corneal abrasions be repaired?


    Question:

    Can visual distortion from corneal abrasions be repaired? I scratched my cornea in a barbwire accident, and my vision in that eye has become slightly distorted (mildly hazed/doubled). It has been three days since the injury, there is no longer pain or discomfort and the eye appears healthy and without visible malformations. Do these distortions generally heal on their own, or do I need to seek eye surgery?


    Answer:

    Corneal abrasions that affect only the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium) usually repair 100% without any permanent vision problems. These vision problems can continue for a few days even after the pain is gone because the cells need to multiply and reorganize to reform a smooth surface.

    If the abrasion affects the deeper layers of the cornea, unfortunately, the eye heals by forming scar tissue which can distort or block vision permanently. In those cases, sometimes the vision can be improved by updating the prescription for glasses or by wearing a rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens. The last resort for dealing with scar tissue is a surgical procedure called a corneal transplant.


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