The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. A corneal abrasion is an injury to the surface layer of the cornea. Abrasions are painful.
The corneal surface usually heals within a day or two, but the eye may be very uncomfortable while it is healing. Tearing, light sensitivity and the feeling that something is in the eye - "foreign body sensation" - will accompany even a small abrasion.
A common treatment is to patch the scratched eye. Another common treatment is repeated application of ointment to the eye, which forms a soothing layer between the inner eye lid and the abrasion. Antibiotics are often used because of the small risk of infection. Sometimes a drop is used to dilate the pupil to help with pain associated with light sensitivity.
Even after the surface has healed, the cornea may still be sensitive to wind and dust. Often, additional lubrication is helpful, both during the day and at bedtime, until the sensitivity has disappeared. Some other diseases, such as dry eye or diabetes, may be slow healing.
What is a corneal erosion?
A corneal erosion is a spontaneous breakdown of the surface of the cornea. The symptoms are similar to a corneal abrasion: An erosion may occur when the eyes are dry or irritated.
How are corneal erosions treated?
Several treatments are used to alleviate the discomfort of erosions and to speed healing:
lubricating drops and ointments;
drops or ointments containing salt;
a special contact lens used to bandage the cornea;
mirco-puncture of the epithelium;
removal of the damaged epithelium.
recurrent corneal erosions can be stubborn and frustrating. Mr Aggarwal may be able to identify other contributing factors. Applying the appropriate drops or ointment as prescribed is often the key to ending the erosion cycle.