Corneal Abrasion

Learn more about Corneal Abrasion, including The Symptoms, The Causes, and The Treatments.

The information below is not intended for self diagnose of an eye condition. If you are worried or suffering from an eye problem, please call us on 0208 524 2887 and book in to see us.

Bhavita Magudia
Corneal Abrasion - Explained
February 3, 2019
Back to Common Eye Conditions

What Is Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is an injury to the cornea; the cornea is a clear layer that covers the iris. For example a scratch to the eye would cause a corneal abrasion. The cornea has may nerve endings; making it a very sensitive surface, hence you would feel pain if you scratched it. Your corneas help you focus light to see, any injury at the cornea can cause blurring of the vision especially if the injury is in the centre of your cornea.

Corneal Abrasion - Symptoms

• Pain can be mild to severe

• Gritty or foreign body sensation can be mild to severe

• Red eye

• Sensitivity to light

• Excessive watering of the eye

• Blurry or poor vision compared to before the injury

• Twitching of the eyelids

• Nausea if the pain is severe

• Possible pre-existing injury in the affected eye

Corneal Abrasion - Causes

• Foreign bodies such as a grain of sand, dust, grit, metal particle

• Trauma caused by a fingernail, makeup brush, twig, paper, clothes tag

• Lashes that grow toward the eyes

• Dry eyes

• Wearing damaged or over wearing contact lenses

• Pre-existing corneal dystrophies such as epithelial basement membrane dystrophy

• Diabetes

• Pre-existing corneal injury which has healed but is weaker than the rest of the cornea

• Inability to close the eyelids

• Facial palsy

• Neurotrophic keratitis (NK)

Corneal Abrasion - Treatments

If you think something is in your eyes, rinse your eyes with saline NOT water, to guard against acanthamoeba keratitis.

Do not rub your eyes; if there is a foreign body in the eyes, rubbing will only cause more damage and possibly embed the foreign body deeper.

Get to your local opticians as soon as possible or your local hospital eye service.

• Topical anaesthetic to aid examination of the eyes and removal of foreign body if necessary

• Removal of the foreign body if one is present, using saline or debridement by a cotton bud

• Lubricating eye gels and eye ointments that are ideally preservative free to be used as instructed

• Oral painkillers if the pain to your eyes is severe

• Antibiotic eye ointment to be used as per instruction, to avoid infection. Use of antibiotics is dependent on the type, location and size of the injury to your cornea.

• Possible Topical non steroidal anti inflammatory eye drops for its pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties

• Cyclopentolate 1% eye drops twice daily to prevent pupil spasm if the abrasion is large

If your abrasion is very large and deep, you may be referred to your local eye hospital as a precautionary measure. As with all eye conditions that are being treated, if the symptoms get worse, the patient must seek medical advice immediately. We usually do a follow up appointment with our patients to check that everything is healing properly.

If a patient has chronic dry eyes we always advise a strict dry eye regime of eye gels and ointments, which should be used consistently to avoid a further corneal injury.