Corneal abrasion: What are the usual causes?

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A corneal abrasion is simply a scratch on the cornea. Most cases are relatively minor and rapidly heal. It is important to note that the cornea is a delicate, transparent dome covering the iris and pupil of the eye.

Dust, sand, metal specks, a fingernail or other foreign object can scratch the cornea. Even contact lenses can irritate or scratch the cornea. In some cases, an abrasion can be accompanied by inflammation in the eye which is called as iritis. Once infected, it might become a corneal ulcer.

What are the signs?

The cornea includes several nerve endings; thus, a trivial scratch can be painful and uncomfortable. There is also a sensation of a foreign object inside the eye that is rough.

If there is abrupt eye pain along with tearing and rapid blinking as well as redness, it indicates that the individual has a scratched cornea.

If there is abrupt eye pain along with tearing and rapid blinking as well as redness, it indicates that the individual has a scratched cornea. A doctor should be seen right away.

How is a corneal abrasion managed?

If the eye was accidentally scratched or a foreign object enters the eye, rinse using clean water or saline solution right away. It is recommended to blink several times to help remove grit, sand or other foreign particles from the eye. Avoid rubbing the eye, touching it or applying any solutions.

Once a corneal abrasion has been diagnosed, check for the signs of an infection. The doctor will also decide if there is a need to use a topical antibiotic in the form of eye drops.

In case the damage is serious, a prescription eye drop should be used to alleviate the pain and light sensitivity. Additionally, pain medications are also prescribed by the doctor. In most cases, the cornea will rapidly heal, usually within several days.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a corneal abrasion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage this type of eye injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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