Corneal abrasion (abrasion eyes)

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Corneal abrasion (abrasion eyes) (Disease)


A patient that suffers of a corneal abrasion has a scratch on the surface of the cornea. The cornea is a firm, clear cap that protects the pupil and iris from injury and infection. The cornea has many nerves beneath the surface. A corneal abrasion exposes these nerves and so resulting in eye pain. Most corneal abrasions will heal within two days.

Symptoms of corneal abrasion include pain, a foreign-body sensation, photophobia, excessive squinting, and a reflex production of tears. Signs include epithelial defects and edema, and often conjunctival injection, swollen eyelids, large pupils and a mild anterior-chamber reaction. The vision may be blurred, both from any swelling of the cornea and the excess tears. Also may be present crusty build up from excess tears.

Causes and Risk factors

There are many things that can cause an abrasion to the cornea. The more common causes include the following: foreign bodies in the eye (such as dirt, pebbles, insects); scratch from a toy or fingernail; contact lenses in older children. When these objects have contact with the surface of the eye, a small abrasion can occur.

Corneal abrasions are also a common and recurrent feature in people who suffer specific types of corneal dystrophy, such as lattice corneal dystrophy. Lattice dystrophy gets its name from an accumulation of amyloid deposits, or abnormal protein fibers, throughout the middle and anterior stroma.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Although small abrasions may require no specific treatment, larger abrasions are typically treated for a few days with a topical antibiotic to prevent infection and sometimes a topical cycloplegic to reduce pain and improve comfort.

Treatment for a corneal abrasion may include eye irrigation, antibiotic eyedrops or ointment, and pain medications. Some may require corneal foreign body removal. ...

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