Corneal abrasion: what are the causes?

hand eyes

Corneal abrasion is a very common injury of the human eye

Most often, this injury to the cornea causes significant discomfort, red eyes and hypersensitivity to sunlight.

Corneal abrasion is a result of the loss of certain cells on the outside of the cornea.

In case you didn’t know, the cornea is the transparent surface of the front of your eye. Part of its job is to focus light, allowing you to see.

A healthy cornea is essential for you to have good vision.

A simple scratch in the cornea makes your eye more susceptible to infection. When you suffer from this problem, it is important that you consult a specialist or visit a hospital.

What causes an abrasion of the cornea?

There are countless ways to cause a corneal abrasion. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Anything in contact with the surface of your eye could cause an injury.

A tree branch, a piece of paper, a fingernail, a cat, or sports equipment. Many things can be a hazard to the front of your eye.

Many of these abrasions, are caused by a traumatic event, like sticking something in your eye.

Dust, sand and other small particles can cause an abrasion in the cornea. This is very common if you have a tendency to rub your eyes with the fingers of your hand.

Dry eye syndrome can increase the risk of an abrasion in the cornea. This is very common when one wakes up after sleeping.

If your eyes dry out while you sleep, your eyebrows can stick to your cornea. Because of this, when you wake up and open your eyes, your eyebrows may break or peel off a microscopic portion of the outer part of the cornea (epithelium). In some severe cases, this could cause a painful abrasion.

Normally, contact lenses do not protect your eyes from corneal abrasion. In fact, when your contact lenses are damaged or you wear them too often, they can increase the risk of damaging your cornea.

Symptoms of corneal damage

The cornea is one of the most sensitive parts of your eye. Because of this, a small abrasion could be extremely painful and feel like a sharp object has entered your eye.

In addition to pain and the feeling of sand or a foreign body in your eye, other symptoms include: redness, tearing, sensitivity to sunlight, headaches, involuntary eye movements and nausea.

If you think you are suffering from some form of corneal abrasion or are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

What might happen if you have an abrasion?

People have a tendency to rub their eyes when they think they have something in their eyes, try cleaning it with plain water but don’t rub.

Don’t put on any bandages or cotton because they may accelerate the growth of bacteria or cause an infection.

Whenever possible, try washing your eye with a saline solution or a solution you use to clean contact lenses. Avoid tap water or bottled water if possible.

Microorganisms such as Acanthamoeba have been encountered in tap water and even bottled water. These bacteria can cause an infection and can sometimes endanger your vision if they get into a scratch on the inside of your cornea.

After wetting your eye, if you see that it continues to remain red, the pain or the feeling of a foreign object persists: see a doctor.

Remember that a corneal abrasion could cause serious damage in as little as 24 hours.

An ophthalmologist might diagnose you with a corneal abrasion by using drops to numb your eye. This way he can keep your eye open during his examination.

Depending on what might have caused the scratch and what your ophthalmologist sees during his or her exam, he or she will be able to give an opinion. Sometimes an exhibit such as an isotopic can be used to send an exhibit to the lab so they can determine what the appropriate treatment is if there is an infection.

Treatment for an eye with scratches in the cornea

Treatment for an abrasion in the cornea depends on the severity of the injury.

Sometimes a small abrasion might be treated with eye drops. This serves to keep your eye moist and helps your eye carry on the healing process.

As a preventative method, even superficial abrasions are treated with eye drops. These drops are a natural antibiotic to prevent infection during healing.

Superficial corneal abrasions have a tendency to heal in a short time — we’re talking two to three days.

Other types of corneal abrasions may require steroids to reduce inflammation, medications to reduce pain, and more time to heal. Deep corneal abrasions take longer to heal and can leave permanent scars that can reduce vision.

In some cases, corneal abrasions are treated with therapeutic contact lenses that are used with an eye patch.

These special lenses can be helpful in relieving pain and speeding up healing.

It is not advisable to use regular contact lenses on a corneal abrasion. In fact, there is an increased risk of some form of infection developing underneath the lens.

Only an ophthalmologist can tell you when it is safe to return to contact lens wear after a corneal injury.

Depending on the treatment and the severity of the injury, your doctor will schedule a follow-up examination 24 hours after the initial treatment.

Most corneal abrasions can be fully recovered without any loss of vision. Nevertheless, some deep abrasions that occur in the center of the cornea (exactly in front of the pupil) can leave a scar and reduce vision.

Some deep corneal injuries can result in a corneal ulcer and cause severe vision loss. Abrasions caused by organic material can increase the risk of a corneal ulcer.

When you suffer from these types of injuries, it is very important to attend your doctor’s follow-up appointments. The cornea does not always get proper care. This could result in recurrent corneal erosion.

How to avoid injury to your eye?

There are many causes of corneal abrasion and some are difficult to prevent. Others can be avoided by using simple precautions.

For example, always use goggles or protective systems in your work environment. This is especially crucial for welders.

It is advisable to use safety glasses when working in the garden or even when playing sports.

When using contact lenses, be sure to always follow your doctor’s instructions. Especially important is knowing when to use them, when to discard them, and how to use the solution to keep your corneas healthy and strong.

If you experience corneal abrasion that seemed to hold a relationship to dry eye syndrome, consult your ophthalmologist. It is important to have a detailed evaluation of the frontal surface of your eye.

When necessary, remember to follow the dry eye treatment protocol that your doctor recommends.

What causes itchy eyes?

Almost all people suffer from itchy eyes from time to time. There are several causes that cause this problem. In some cases, the eyes become red, swollen and itchy.

The medical term for itchy eyes is itchy eye.

This article will help you know more about itchy eyes and how to relieve it.

The cause of ocular itching

Most of the time, itchy eyes are caused by some type of allergy.

An irritant substance (called an allergic agent), an example being pollen, dust or animal hair, causes the release of histamine. This compound spreads around the eyes and the consequence is redness, swelling and itching.

Rubbing your eyes will not be good for your itching. In fact, it will only make your situation worse.

Eye allergies come in many shapes and sizes. They can be seasonal or perennial.

Seasonal allergies cause what is called allergic conjunctivitis. It is really common in the spring and fall. The cause is an increase in pollen and exposure to allergenic agents present in the free air.

Perennial allergy is present all year round and the main cause is dust or dampness.

On some occasions, certain products you use to clean can cause itchy eyes related to allergies. For example, some people develop allergies to contact lens cleaning solution.

Among the products and ingredients that can cause itchy eyes we have: makeup, hair lotions, creams and soap.

However, allergies are the main cause of itchy eyes. If your eyes burn, the cause could be dry eye syndrome or sebaceous gland problem called: Meibomian. It’s not allergies that create dry eyes.

Similarly, if your eyebrows are red and inflamed it is possible that you have contracted an infection called: Blepharitis. This is a bacterial infection caused by a microscopic mite that live in the eyebrows.

Sometimes, if you wear contact lenses for too long or don’t change them, redness can occur in your eye.

Since there are many causes of itchy eyes, if the symptoms last for a long time, get worse or do not subside, schedule a visit to your doctor.

Treatments for ocular itching

Symptoms of itchy eyes can sometimes be reduced with allergy eye drops.

Other times, however, oral medications are needed to get an improvement. Some medications can help you be less likely to have itchy attacks in the future, especially if your symptoms are due to seasonal allergy.

Applying a damp, cold, clean cloth over closed eyes can also decrease the intensity of itching.

The most effective treatments to prevent itchy eyes are those that directly attack the cause. That’s why it’s important to consult with your medical professional to find out which treatment is truly effective for itchy eyes.

Different types of medications can bring mild relief for itchy eyes. Only a medical treatment will be able to indicate the appropriate treatment.

The most important thing to do is not to rub your eyes even if it is very tempting.

The moment you start rubbing your eyes, histamine is released which will worsen the itching. In addition, you may produce a corneal abrasion or you may introduce bacteria that can create an eye infection.

11 thoughts on “Corneal abrasion: what are the causes?”

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