Corneal Abrasions Diagnosis and Treatment Question and Answers
If you or any of your loved ones have corneal abrasions, visit Columbia Clinic Urgent Care. Our dedicated specialists offer comprehensive treatment to relieve you from pain and irritation. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Portland OR, Clackamas OR, and Tigard OR.
The eyes are incredibly important organs that enable us with sight, which has been labeled by many as the most valuable of all the physical senses. The eyes are made up of several different parts, including the pupil, iris, sclera (whites of the eyes), and cornea. Corneas are the clear protective coating that surrounds the front of the eye. If it becomes damaged or scratched, it is known as a corneal abrasion, which can cause discomfort, blurred vision, and vision loss. Anyone who has sustained an eye injury should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible, as untreated eye injuries can lead to serious complications, including permanent vision damage.
What is a corneal abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the cornea, the clear protective surface that covers the eyes. Symptoms of corneal abrasions usually include significant discomfort, watery eyes, red eyes, and sensitivity to light. In addition to being painful, a corneal abrasion makes the eye more susceptible to infection from invading pathogens. If a corneal abrasion is suspected, it is important to see an eye doctor or visit an urgent care center as soon as possible. The cornea is one of the most sensitive parts of the body; even a very small corneal abrasion can be extremely painful and feel as though there is a big, rough object in the eye.
Signs and symptoms of corneal abrasions include:
- Gritty sensation
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
- Eye twitching
In some cases, a corneal abrasion can cause so much discomfort that it causes nausea.
How do you treat a corneal abrasion?
Based on the diagnosis of the eye condition, an ophthalmologist will develop a treatment plan to address these concerns. They may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment. To reduce inflammation and to avoid potential scarring, some ophthalmologists may use steroid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drops. Eyedrops to stop eye muscle spasms may relieve pain and sensitivity to light, but they may also cause blurring of vision. When stained with fluorescein and viewed with blue light, a corneal abrasion appears as a yellow-green area. This helps the eye doctor see the extent of the damage and exactly where it is located. In addition to the ophthalmologist’s prescribed treatment, wearing sunglasses may help relieve the pain due to light sensitivity.
Is a corneal abrasion serious?
In most cases, corneal abrasions heal in 24 to 48 hours with no permanent damage. If the pain persists, contacting an eye doctor is the best way to avoid serious or permanent damage. The eye doctor may provide patients with an anesthetic eye drop to ease pain and help avoid infection. If a person who wears contact lenses sustains a corneal abrasion, they may need to refrain from wearing their contact lenses for at least 24 hours after diagnosis and treatment.
What should I do if I have a corneal abrasion?
Immediate steps one can take for a corneal abrasion are:
- Rinse eyes with clean water.
- Blink several times. This may remove small particles.
- Make the eyes tear, which may help wash out the foreign particle.
To avoid making the injury worse:
- Do not remove an object that is stuck in the eye
- Do not rub eyes after an injury
- Do not touch eyeballs with anything, including cotton swabs or tweezers
- Do not wear eye contact while the eyes are healing
If you have sustained a corneal abrasion, come to Columbia Clinic Urgent Care for treatment today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating corneal abrasions and can help you find relief. Call one of our locations today to book an appointment, or simply walk right in! We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.