When Should I Go to Urgent Care for a Scratched Cornea?
A corneal scratch is one of the most prevalent types of eye injuries. It is a cut or scratch on your cornea, which is the layer of protecting tissue at the front of your eye. A scratched cornea frequently causes substantial discomfort, including burning eyes, tears, impaired vision, and light sensitivity. If you have a scratched cornea that requires professional medical care, contact us at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care or book in online to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Our team would be happy to support you in getting the care you need to get your vision back on track. We have convenient locations to serve you.
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A scratched cornea, also known as a corneal abrasion, is a common eye injury that can cause discomfort and pain. The cornea is the outer layer of the eye that helps to focus light into the retina, which allows us to see. When the cornea is scratched, it can cause redness, sensitivity to light, and a feeling of a foreign object in the eye.
In most cases, a scratched cornea will heal on its own within a few days. The cornea is one of the fastest-healing tissues in the body, and typically repairs itself within 24 to 48 hours. During this time, the eye may be sensitive to light and may water or feel uncomfortable, and your doctors may prescribe eye drops or ointment to help relieve pain and prevent infection during the healing process.
However, in some cases, a scratched cornea may require more in-depth medical attention, especially if the injury is deep or large as it’ll take longer to heal and will be more susceptible to infection.
Additionally, if the cornea scratch is caused by a foreign object such as a piece of metal or glass, it will likely require removal by your doctor to prevent further damage to the eye.
Usually, minor corneal abrasions take less than a few days to heal completely with most people recovering within 24 to 48 hours.
However, more severe scratches may take a little while longer to heal up, with symptoms lasting for up to a week as the cornea regenerates new cells to replace the damaged ones.
During the healing process, it’s important to take care of your eyes the best that you can. This includes avoiding rubbing or touching the affected eye, as this can slow down the healing process or even make the injury worse. You’ll also need to avoid wearing contact lenses until the corneal abrasion has healed fully.
Here are a few ways to treat a scratched cornea:
– Wash your hands. The first and most important step is to ensure that your hands are clean before touching your eye.
– Rinse the eye. Rinse your eye with water or saline solution to flush out any foreign particles or debris that may have gotten into your eye.
– Use eye drops. Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can help relieve discomfort, dryness, and irritation, and can also reduce inflammation and promote healing.
– Avoid rubbing your eye. Rubbing your eye can aggravate the injury and cause further damage. Instead, try to blink frequently to help alleviate any discomfort.
– Wear protective eyewear. To protect your eye from further injury, you can wear protective eyewear such as goggles or an eye patch.
– Avoid contact lenses. It’s best to avoid wearing contact lenses until your eye has healed to prevent additional irritation and to reduce the risk of infection.
If the pain, discomfort, and blurred vision persist or worsen over time, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can prescribe medication, remove any debris or foreign particles, and monitor your eye for signs of infection or other complications.lly.
In general, if you have a scratched cornea and the pain or discomfort isn’t improving after a day or two, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention at the nearest urgent care. In addition to this, if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s a good idea to get assessed by a doctor:
– Severe or persistent eye pain. If your eye is throbbing, aching, or feels like it’s being stabbed, you need to have it checked out ASAP. This could indicate a deeper or larger scratch, or the presence of a foreign object that needs to be removed.
– Blurry or distorted vision. If your vision is suddenly blurry or you see halos or other distortions around lights, it’s possible that the abrasion is affecting your cornea’s ability to refract light properly.
– Sensitivity to light. If your eye feels extremely sensitive to light, even in low-lit environments, this could be a sign of inflammation or infection.
– Redness or swelling. If your eye is significantly red or swollen, it’s a sign that your body is mounting an immune response to the injury. This could be a sign of infection, particularly if pus or other discharge is present.
At Columbia Clinic Urgent Care, we would be happy to provide the care you need if you’ve received a corneal abrasion. Reach out to us today, walk in for a same day appointment, or book in online to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced and knowledgeable medical professionals. 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.