What Is Corneal Abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is a scratch, scrape on the surface of your cornea. Fingernails, makeup brushes and tree branches are common culprits of corneal abrasions. Some other causes of corneal abrasion are rubbing your eye and having very dry eyes.
Corneal Abrasion Symptoms
Why Do Corneal Abrasions Hurt So Much?
The cornea has many nerve cells. Cells called pain receptors transmit pain to tell us about possible damage to the eye’s surface. In fact, there are hundreds of times more pain receptors in our cornea than there are in our skin.
Corneal Abrasion Diagnosis
Your ophthalmologist will put dye called fluorescein on your eye’s surface. Then they will look at your cornea with an instrument called a slit lamp. The dye will highlight a cut or scratch on the cornea.
Corneal Abrasion Treatment
Your ophthalmologist will treat your eye based on what they find in the exam. Following are some options.
- You might wear a patch over your injured eye. This is to keep you from blinking and making the corneal abrasion worse.
- You may use moisturizing eye drops or ointment. This adds a soothing layer over the cornea.
- Your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent an eye infection.
- You may be given special eye drops to dilate (widen) your pupil. This can help relieve pain.
- You may be given a special contact lens to reduce pain and speed healing.
If your corneal abrasion is small, it probably will heal in 1–2 days. A larger corneal abrasion may take about a week to heal.
Help Your Eyes Heal from Corneal Abrasion
Do not rub your eye while it is healing. Rubbing can slow down healing, or even make the problem worse.
Avoid wearing your usual contact lenses while your eye is healing. Ask your ophthalmologist when you can wear your lenses again.
Protect Your Corneas