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Corneal Abrasion (cont.)

What Are Risk Factors for Corneal Abrasions?

Risk factors for the development of corneal abrasions include outdoor activities, having young children, using power tools without eye protection, wearing contact lenses, using chemical solutions without eye protection, suffering trauma to the face, including facial surgery, and disorders of the eyelids or eyelashes.

What Are Corneal Abrasion Symptoms and Signs?

You should suspect a corneal abrasion if you have sustained an injury to your eye. The following are some of the symptoms you may experience:

  • A sensation of a foreign body in the eye (for example, a feeling that there is something in your eye that you cannot get out). This feeling sometimes develops a few hours later rather than immediately after the apparent injury.
  • Corneal abrasions, except in cases of chemical or ultraviolet light burns, usually affect only one eye.
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Blurred vision or distortion of vision
  • Eye pain when exposed to a bright light
  • Spasm of the muscles surrounding your eye causing you to squint

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for a Corneal Abrasion?

You should see your ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery of the eyes) if you experience any of the following:

  • You have eye pain, with or without an associated eye injury.
  • You experience a sudden loss of vision or a sudden significant blurring of vision.
  • You receive an eye injury from high-speed equipment that could cause a fragment to go into your eye, such as from a grinding wheel, from hammering upon metal, or from sanding or sawing while doing carpentry.
  • You have the feeling that there is something in your eye and you cannot get it out.
  • Exposure to sunlight or bright indoor lights causes severe eye pain.
  • You have eye redness.
  • You are experiencing minor eye symptoms in the presence of a known eye condition or in the presence of having sight in only one eye.
  • Your pain lasts more than a few hours or is severe. Also, seek medical help if you have eye pain and do not recall any injury to your eye.
  • You have any heat or chemical burn to your eye.
  • Pain returns from an eye injury that seemed to have resolved with treatment.

You should go to the hospital's emergency department if you experience any of the above and are unable to be evaluated by your ophthalmologist.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017

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