Snowball toss, eagerly unwrapping presents, flying toys, open fires, champagne corks…this month can be a very active and exciting month. It’s common to wear eye protection around July 4th or while trimming the yard in the summer, but this time of year our guard is often lowered. No matter how careful we are, accidents happen and a corneal abrasion (scratched eye) is one of the most common eye injuries.
Symptoms – Anything that makes contact with the surface of your eye can cause injury.
The cornea is one of the most sensitive parts of the body; even a very small abrasion can be extremely painful. Additionally, one may feel a gritty sensation, experience redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headache and changes to your vision.
Treatment – Minor corneal abrasions will heal on their own in a few days, however if your symptoms persist, Dr. Stewart Shofner recommends you schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist may treat a corneal abrasion with antibiotic eye drops or ointment or use steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation and reduce the chance of scarring.
Who’s at Risk – People that have dry eyes or wear contact lens have an increased risk of a corneal abrasion. For example, eyes can dry out while sleeping; the eyelids may stick to the cornea and after awaking the lids can tear and dislodge a portion of the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium), causing a painful abrasion. Those that wear contact lens too long or if the lens are damaged, they could cause the cornea to become scratched.
We at Shofner Vision Center have treated patients with some unique eye injuries. Please be careful this season and if you think you may have suffered a corneal abrasion and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention right away.