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Corneal Abrasion (cont.)

Corneal Abrasion Self-Care at Home

  • In cases of minor irritation, such as one resulting from a piece of dust flying into your eye, you may be able to wash out the foreign object from your eye with clean tap water.
    • You can rinse your eye by tilting your head back and pouring water into your opened eye.
    • You can also fill a sink with water and plunge your head into the water with your eyes open.
    • Laboratories and industrial settings where chemical contaminations are possible have eye wash stations to rinse out the eyes if necessary.
  • Over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricants may improve the discomfort in your eye.
  • Over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), may be helpful. If one dose of such medication does not bring relief, consult your ophthalmologist.
  • After your eye examination, you should rest with your eyes closed to help the healing process. This means no reading. You should also not drive until your ophthalmologist says it is safe for you to do so, because driving with impaired vision poses a danger to yourself and others. Instead, have someone drive you to your appointment with the ophthalmologist.

Corneal Abrasion Medical Treatment

Your ophthalmologist will treat the specific eye condition based on the diagnosis.

  • Antibiotic eyedrops or ointment may be prescribed or placed in your eye or eyes. Some ophthalmologists may use steroid or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory eyedrops to reduce inflammation and to avoid potential scarring.

  • Eyedrops to stop eye muscle spasm may be placed into your eyes by your ophthalmologist. These drops may relieve your pain and your sensitivity to light, but they may also cause blurring of vision.

  • The eye may or may not be patched by your ophthalmologist. Recent evidence shows that patching the eye probably does not help and may actually have a negative impact on the healing process. Whichever choice your ophthalmologist makes, it is not likely to be a significant issue. Your ophthalmologist may have specific reasons for your treatment based on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are in doubt about the ophthalmologist's decision, ask him or her why a certain choice has been made.

  • If there is any evidence of rusty metallic deposits within the injured cornea, your ophthalmologist may recommend a tetanus vaccination if your immunization status is not up to date.

  • Although anesthetic eyedrops may be used to immediately relieve the eye pain at the time of your examination, these drops cannot be prescribed for you to use at home because they interfere with the natural healing process.
    • Pain pills to be taken by mouth may be prescribed.

    • Wearing sunglasses may help relieve the pain due to light sensitivity.

Corneal Abrasion Follow-up

If you have a simple corneal abrasion, your ophthalmologist may ask you to return for a recheck in 24-48 hours.

More serious or complex problems usually require a follow-up examination. If you have any unusual or unexpected symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist to discuss them.

Ask questions if you are not sure of the diagnosis or the treatment plan. Do not leave until you are sure when your next appointment is and under what circumstances you are to contact your ophthalmologist or to return before your next appointment.

Remember, unpredictable things happen, and medical problems do not always follow textbook descriptions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2015

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