Eyes are the windows to our souls. This is what many people say , and it is actually true, but if there’s something wrong with your eyes, how are people going to see what’s in you? Joking aside, there are many conditions that affect the function of the eyes. One of these if corneal abrasions, which are uncomfortable and painful. They can cause eyes to get blurry, distorted and more. It’s important to know about the different causes, symptoms and treatments for corneal abrasions. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a Corneal Abrasion?
The cornea is the clear topmost surface of the eyes. Its job is to focus the light and help us see the things around us. A healthy cornea is a vital part of good vision. In addition to disrupting our vision, a corneal abrasion makes the eyes more susceptible to various infections. It’s important to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you find yourself having any of the symptoms.
A corneal abrasion is actually one of the most common injuries to the eyes. It is characterized by a scratch on the cornea, which causes significant discomfort, hypersensitivity to light and redness of the eyes. Corneal abrasions may result in the disruption or loss of cells in the topmost layer of the cornea, or the corneal epithelium. The scratches can happen in an instant and can be caused by so many things, including outdoor activity, the use of power tools without protection, facial trauma, contact lenses and more.
What Causes Corneal Abrasions?
There are numerous ways to get a corneal abrasion. Small or big, anything that can make contact with the eye’s surface may cause it injury. Anything in our environment may be a hazard, including sports equipment, makeup brushes, trees – whatever! Many cases are not caused by traumatic events, though. They may be caused by:
- Over-wearing contact lenses
- Engaging or playing in high-intensity physical activities without any safety eyewear
- Having surgery without any eye protection
- Wearing dirty or poor-fitting contact lenses
- Rubbing the eyes too hard
- Getting chemicals in your eyes
- Getting foreign matter in your eyes, like ash, sawdust or sand
- Poking your eyes with your fingernail, makeup brush or pen
Symptoms of Corneal Abrasions
A corneal abrasion is quite painful, so its symptoms may become noticeable instantaneously after the scratch occurs. Symptoms include:
- Impaired vision
- Inability to stare at bright light and the sun
- Watery eyes
- Sudden pain when blinking
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- A feeling of grit or sand in the eye
Can Corneal Abrasions be Prevented?
The answer to this question is yes. If you feel something in your eyes, rubbing it is the natural response. Don’t do it, though! This may be the very thing that scratches your eyes. Instead:
- Gently rinse the eye with clean water
- Pull the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid
- Blink your eye several times
Avoid trying to remove whatever it is that is stuck in your cornea. Leave that to your doctor.
Treatments for Corneal Abrasions
Here are some of the best and most effective treatments for corneal abrasions:
- Painkillers: these mitigate the pain and expedite healing.
- Cold compress: applying a cold compress helps relieve the pain.
- Don’t wear makeup: avoid using makeup if your cornea is damaged. There are traces of chemicals or dye in it, which may cause an abrasion.
- Rest your eyes: while the cornea heals, don’t cause it excess stress.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes: avoid rubbing your eyes, as this may cause contamination. Washing your eyes with clean water is ok, but talk to your doctor first.
- Stop using contact lenses: avoid using your contact lenses with you’re healing.
- Use an eye patch: keep your eyes closed, if possible. If this is too hard, use an eye patch.