The cornea copes very well with minor injuries or abrasions. If the highly sensitive cornea is scratched, healthy cells slide over quickly and patch the injury before infection occurs and vision is affected. If the scratch penetrates the cornea more deeply, however, the healing process will take longer.
This may also result in greater pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness and extreme sensitivity to light. These symptoms require professional treatment. Deeper scratches can also cause corneal scarring, resulting in a haze on the cornea that can greatly impair vision. In this case, a corneal transplant may be needed.
Injuries to the outer surface of the cornea, called corneal abrasions, may be caused by:
- Chemical irritation
- Overuse of contact lenses or lenses that don’t fit correctly
- Reaction to contact lens solutions and cosmetics
- Scratches or scrapes on the surface of the cornea
- Something getting into the eye such as sand or dust
- Sunlight, sun lamps, snow or water reflections, or arc-welding
Treatment for Corneal Injuries
Do not try to remove an object stuck in an eye without professional medical help. If chemicals are splashed in the eye, immediately flush the eye with water for 15 minutes. The person should be quickly taken to the nearest emergency room. Anyone with severe eye pain needs to be evaluated in an emergency room or by an ophthalmologist immediately.
Treatment for corneal injuries may include :
- Removal of foreign material from the eye
- Wearing an eye patch or temporary contact lens bandage
- Using eye drops or ointments prescribed by a doctor
- Not wearing contact lenses until the eye has healed
- Taking pain medicines
Wolfe Eye Clinic has experts in treating corneal injuries throughout Iowa, including Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Spencer and Waterloo.
Please contact Wolfe Eye Clinic at 1-800-542-7956 to ask any corneal disease or corneal injury-related questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our corneal disease specialists: Dr. Steven Johnson, Dr. Todd Gothard or Dr. Matthew Rauen.