Any injury to the eye can prove to be risky and painful as it is the visual organ of the body. While infections and vision related problems fall into a different league or disorders, scratches to the cornea, commonly called a corneal abrasion can be a very painful condition, disrupting regular life and activities. The cornea is basically a clear tissue that covers iris and has several nerve endings. If it gets scratched by foreign or sharp objects, the result can be pain and vision problems.
What Leads To Corneal Abrasion
As it is, corneal abrasion can be caused by a number of factors:
- Accidental poking in the eye with sharp objects.
- Articles like dust, sand or ash getting into the eyes.
- Wearing contact lenses for a long time without cleaning them.
- At times, eye infections can also lead to it.
- Eye exposure to UV ray for long.
Symptoms of Corneal Abrasion
The main symptom of corneal abrasion is pain and a feeling of particles in the eyes. Other symptoms are:
- Blurred vision
- Enhanced sensitivity to light
- Redness and swollen eyes
In most cases, the symptoms disappear within 2 to 3 days. Only in cases of serious abrasions, the symptoms may persist for a longer period.
When To Seek Medical Intervention
It may not always be possible for you to understand it is corneal abrasion that is causing vision related problems. However, you can look for the symptoms and their patterns to find out the truth. You need to seek medical help when:
- You get affected by blurred vision without any apparent reason.
- You find staring at light sources is causing sharp pain in the eyes.
- You find the eyes are tearing more than usual.
- You notice the area surrounding the eyes has become swollen.
Treatment Options For Corneal Abrasion
While a majority of people with corneal abrasion find the condition improving with time without rigorous medical treatment that may not be the case for all. Ophthalmologists and eye specialists may advise you to use specialized medications to reduce the painful feeling in the eyes.
The most common medications prescribed to treat corneal abrasions are:
- Medicated eye drops that soothe inflammation and reduce pain.
- Antibiotic ointment can also be given.
- Nonprescription pain relievers are advised to deal with pain.
- Specialized eye patches are also given.
Home Remedies and Preventive Measures To Cope With Corneal Abrasion
While your damaged cornea will recover gradually you may resort to a number of effective home remedies to expedite the healing process and prevent further damage to the eyes.
Avoid Rubbing Eyes With Hands
The first and default reaction of people when they feel something has got into the eyes is rubbing eyes with hands. However, refrain from doing so at any cost when you have a damaged cornea. Rubbing eyes can lead to further damage of the cornea.
When you have got corneal abrasion, it is advisable to stay indoors. However, that may not be feasible for every affected person. If you actually need to go out, especially in day time, wear a good sunglasses. This will offer your fatigued eyes relief from sun and UV rays.
Washing Eyes With Clear Water
After talking to the eye specialist, you may wash eyes from time to time to keep the cornea clear. However, take caution not to splash water heavily into eyes at this time. You may use eyedropper tubes to drop water into eyes gently. Ensure it is clean water that you are using to wash the eyes. If dropping water into the eyes may seem tedious, you can pour a sink with water and plunge eyes into it carefully. Otherwise, you may ask someone in the family to help you wash the eyes.
Giving Rest To The Eyes
This is a basic but integral part of healing the scratched cornea. To expedite natural healing process of your eyes give them adequate rest after getting corneal abrasion. Sleep properly and stay away from sources of bright light even inside home as far as possible. It is advisable not to get into activities that end up stressing your eyes and cornea at this time.
Stop working in front of computer screens for a long time. Similarly, do not watch TV for prolonged duration at this time. If you have to visit the doctor, ask someone to drive rather than driving a car yourself.
Using Cold Compress
To get relief from the painful sensation in the eyes, you may resort to using a cold compress. Of course, talk with the ophthalmologist before you do so.
Discarding Contact lens When Eye Is Healing
When you are affected by corneal abrasion it is advisable to stop wearing contact lens. You should wait until the abrasion heals completely and the symptoms disappear.