A Scratch on Your Cornea
When we’re out and about in Stockton and our surroundings, whether working or playing, sometimes a person can scratch his or her cornea. It’s one of the most common eye injuries, but usually can be easily treated and healed by the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group.
What Is the Cornea?
The cornea is the clear front surface of the eye. The cornea focuses light, enabling us to see, so a healthy cornea is a must for good vision. When the cornea is scratched, not only is it painful, but it also makes the cornea more susceptible to infection. That’s why it is important to come and see us at Central Valley if you scratch your cornea, rather than thinking you’ll take care of it by yourself.
What Happens in a Corneal Abrasion?
As you would assume, you can scratch the cornea in countless ways. From a stray tree branch when out hiking to a makeup brush, from workplace debris to sports equipment, just about anything can scratch your cornea. And it’s not as if it needs to be a noticeable event, such as getting poked in the eye. Sand and dust can cause abrasions, especially if you rub your eyes.
What Are the Symptoms of a Corneal Abrasion?
The cornea is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, so you’ll know when you’ve scratched it. Even a small abrasion can be extremely painful and can feel much larger than it actually is.
A scratched cornea will be painful and it will feel as if you have something in your eye. Other symptoms are redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headaches, blurry or decreased vision, eye twitching, a dull ache, and sometimes even nausea.
It’s important not to rub your eyes, as this can make matters much worse. If you get something in your eye, you can flush it with sterile saline eyewash or contact lens solution. Don’t use tap water, as it can have microorganisms that can lead to infection. After flushing your eye, if the foreign body sensation continues, call us at Central Valley immediately. The danger is the risk of infection.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When our doctors examine your scratched eye, our magnifying instruments will show us the extent of the abrasion and if there are still foreign materials present. We may use a fluorescein dye to help identify the abrasions.
We’ll often then apply a topical anesthesia to help relieve your eye pain. A tight patch will be placed over the eye and this will usually help a small abrasion heal overnight. If the abrasion is larger, we may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and the healing may take a few days.
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Posted in: Corneal Abrasions