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Corneal abrasion: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About corneal abrasion

Corneal abrasion is a minor surface injury of the cornea which is a transparent covering over the iris (coloured part of eye). The cornea is a very sensitive part of the eye and is responsible for focussing of the light rays which help in forming images in the eyes.

Corneal abrasion: Incidence, age and sex

Corneal abrasion is quite commonly encountered in the general population and may affect individuals of both the sexes, equally.

Signs and symptoms of corneal abrasion: Diagnosis

The predominant symptoms of corneal abrasion are pain in the affected eye accompanied by blurring of vision. Affected individuals may experience scratchy sensation of the eye which may show redness and swelling around it. Intolerance to bright light also called photo-sensitivity may also be manifested in some individuals with corneal abrasion. Such features warrant immediate consultation with an eye specialist who would conduct a detailed eye examination including slit lamp examination before establishing the diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of corneal abrasion

Corneal abrasion may result from various factors like dust, wood or sand particles which may enter the eyes. Furthermore, incorrect use of contact lens or using worn down contact lens may also result in corneal abrasion. Other factors resulting in corneal injury may also result from finger nails or vigorous rubbing of eyes or excessive exposure to ultra-violet radiation.

Corneal abrasion: Complications

Corneal abrasion, if minor does not result in any significant complications. However increased chances of bacterial infection of abrasion may be seen in children who often rub their eyes.

Corneal abrasion: Treatment

Minor corneal abrasion usually does not need any treatment since they heal on their own within a few days. If corneal abrasion is a result of any foreign particle like dirt or wood, it is advisable to get it removed immediately by an eye specialist. Covering the affected eye with an eye patch may provide rest to the eye and hasten the healing process. Antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed if the corneal abrasion gets infected. The prognosis of corneal abrasion is good and usually heals quickly without any residual affect. Surgical treatment like phototherapeutic keratectomy may be required to treat corneal abrasions which are recurrent in nature.