Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a cut or scratch on the cornea. It is typically very painful, causes sensitivity to light, and increased risk of infection.

How does the cornea respond to injury?

The cornea copes very well with minor injuries or abrasions. If the highly sensitive cornea is scratched, healthy cells slide over quickly and patch the injury before infection occurs and vision is affected. If the scratch penetrates the cornea more deeply, however, the healing process will take longer, at times resulting in greater pain, blurred vision, tearing, redness, and extreme sensitivity to light. These symptoms require professional treatment. Deeper scratches can also cause corneal scarring, resulting in a haze on the cornea that can greatly impair vision. In this case, a corneal transplant may be needed.

Although the cornea heals quickly from minor injuries and abrasions, it is also susceptible to infection. Corneal Infections can be painful and may lead to serious issues with corneal scarring.

What are the common causes of corneal abrasion?

One of the most common causes of corneal abrasion is a result of toddlers or babies scratching other people’s eyes. We also often see corneal abrasions due to branches, sticks, weeds, and construction work.

What is the Cornea?

The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye

Source: National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute

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