Sometimes the result of high-risk sports, corneal abrasions also result from chemicals, dirt, rust or other contaminants in the eye. Often among children an eye is scratched accidentally during play, and home treatment after consultation with a physician is usually all that’s needed.
- Burning or irritation in the eye or as the eyelid opens and closes
- Pain that persists more than 12 hours after an accidental blow to the eye
- Feeling of sand or grit in the eye
- Blurred vision or light sensitivity
Who is at risk?
Anyone can experience a corneal abrasion.
Your physician will commonly prescribe an antibiotic eye drop to ensure that the abrasion does not become infected. Doctors are not recommending eye patches generally as controlled studies have failed to prove they contribute to healing. Rest is the best healer for an injured eye (that means eliminate television and reading) as most minor abrasions will heal on their own within 4-5 days.
At home, keep the area clean and dry with a sterile bandage. A cold pack might help reduce swelling, followed by a warm compress to relieve pain. Resist using chemical cooling packs or raw meat around the eye. For pain, use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin (if over 20).
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
Note: with any vision loss, the eye might require treatment within 90 minutes to save vision; use precautions. If an object is embedded in the eye, do not remove. Proceed to an emergency room or Mountain Lakes Medical Center immediately. If there is no visible object in the eye and pain persists after 12 hours, contact your doctor or a Mountain Lakes Medical Center physician. Special test are required that can help diagnose the cause of your discomfort. Never take chances where your eyesight is concerned.
For more information on corneal abrasions, see the following websites:
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of MtLakesMedical.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.