Description and Symptoms
A Corneal Abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the eye. The transparent window at the front of the eye is the cornea. It consists of several layers. The outermost layer is the epithelium. This layer protects the cornea from bacteria and is the first point at which light is focused in the eye. The corneal nerves lie just beneath the epithelium, and these are sensitive nerve endings.
It is possible that the surface epithelial layer is disturbed as in a corneal scratch or abrasion. Then the exposed nerve endings make you feel like there is glass or grit in the eye and it is painful.
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Causes of Corneal Abrasions
Corneal abrasions are typically caused by dust or grit blowing into the eye on a windy day. Also causes are a fingernail scratch from children or by anything that hits the surface. Most of the time these causes of the eye damage happens usually by accident.
Diagnosis and Examination
Ms. Crawley will see a corneal abrasion using the blue light on the slit lamp microscope. Bright orange fluorescein dye drops are put into your eye. These are often mixed with local anaesthetic to numb the eye to allow a proper examination. The fluorescein dye highlights the scratch when cobalt blue light from the microscope is shown on it. This is a painless test.
The scratch will heal within 2-3 days. Antibiotic ointment or drops are used to protect the cornea from bacteria that may use the scratch as an opportunity to cause infection. Occasionally a pad is put on the eye for a few hours. This is not necessary for all patients but can be helpful to protect the eye when travelling home from the clinic. Regular painkillers will help to reduce the gritty discomfort. The scratch will heal completely in uncomplicated cases and will be invisible at the next eye examination.
If you have glaucoma and need cataract surgery
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