Did you get something in your eye, resulting in irritation and sensitivity to your eye even after the item was removed from your eye? Chances are, you have a corneal abrasion -- which is essentially a scratch on the surface of your eye. Here's what you need to know about this injury.
What should you do about a corneal abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is not an overly serious issue -- as long as you get it treated properly. If left untreated, it could become infected, and this could lead to serious complications, the worst of which could be loss of your eye. So, if you suspect you have a corneal abrasion, you should call your eye doctor immediately. They may have you come into the office or send you to the emergency room. Have someone else drive you there as you'll have a hard time seeing clearly and dealing with lights on the road.
How is a corneal abrasion treated?
When you arrive at your eye doctor's office or the ER, they will likely introduce a green stain to your eye and then look at your eye under a special light. This may be a bit uncomfortable since your eye will be sensitive to light due to the abrasion. The green stain will settle into the scratched area, allowing your doctor to see how large and deep the scratch is.
Usually, you'll be told to wear an eye patch for at least a few days. This will protect your eye from light and dust, allowing it to heal. Your eye doctor will probably also prescribe antibiotic eye drops for you to put in your eye a few times per day. If you wear contacts, you will not be able to safely put them in for a while. Your eye doctor will tell you when it's safe to wear contacts again -- based on the severity of your abrasion.
What symptoms will the abrasion cause?
Your corneal abrasion will make your eye tear when exposed to light. You'll feel like you have to keep your eye shut, and your vision may be blurry because of the tearing. Usually, as long as you keep your eye covered, the pain will be minimal. If you are bothered by the pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers to keep yourself comfortable. Once your eye is healed, you should not have any long-lasting side effects from the abrasion.
For more information, talk to a professional like Dr Joel Zuckerbraun PC.