What is Corneal Abrasion
Abrasion or corneal ulcer occurs when the outer and transparent layer of the eye suffers an injury that is usually caused by minor scratches or lacerations. These injuries are very painful. After healing of these injuries, they can cause scar on the cornea.In many cases, abrasion corneal requires surgery to correct it.
The eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the human body because of the important function they perform, of course this function is vision. That is why they are well protected by eyelids and eyelashes, as well as the involuntary reflex that causes us to close our eyes quickly to avoid damages, tearing and removes particles from the ocular surface.
But in spite of all these protection mechanisms, injuries are inevitable. These usually occur in the outer layer of the eye which is called ‘’cornea’’. A transparent sheet that covers the eye with lens that allows us to focus correctly.
Corneal abrasion is a common problem that occurs primarily in children, although outdoor sports such as cycling also increase the risk of foreign elements enter eye and cause damage.
Corneal Abrasion Causes
There are multiple causes for corneal abrasion or injury to the cornea, but the most frequent are:
- Direct injuries: This is natural.Anything can cause an injury
- Foreign bodies: These are called foreign bodies to any external element such as specks of dust, eyelashes, sand or small chips which can be put in the eye and lacerate the cornea. These scratches are also hazardous for the potential risk of infection.
- Contact lenses: constantly putting and removing contact lenses frequently leads to injuries.
- Rubbing eyes: Sometimes we rub our eyes too hard and the cornea is damaged. It is very common in very young children who do not yet control force.
Corneal Abrasion Symptoms and Signs
We must know the signs to identify a corneal abrasion, especially in children.
- Pain, stinging and eye irritation with redness
- Sensation of having something in the eye
- Lagrimeo; The eye produces tears in an attempt to cleanse itself and eliminate what is causing the damage
- In children, excessive eyelashes can be seen in the affected eye, and sometimes they may keep the eyelid closed
- Blurred vision and sensitivity to light may appear
- Sometimes, it is accompanied by headaches.
What to do and what not to do in case of corneal abrasion
In the vast majority of cases corneal abrasion is due to minor injuries that heal on their own within two days; The tearing helps to drag all the strange particles like sand, eyelashes, insects, The tearing helps to drag all the strange particles like sand, eyelashes, insects,etc. First aid consists of detecting the severity of the injury and acting accordingly, as well as preventing possible complications:
- It is very important not to rub your eyes if you suspect an injury
- If there is a foreign body in eye, tears should be allowed to flow.If you desire , saline can be used to help wash while trying to remove foreign body with a sterile cotton or gauze.
- If harmful element is located in the eye,you should never try to remove at home, it will always be necessary to go to a health centre. In this case it is especially important not to rub the eyes. If the affected person is a child, child must remain in constant vigilance.
- An eye patch can be used as a protective barrier while the eye heals.
- Do not wear contact lenses until completely cured to prevent infection and complications.
- In case the pain is very strong you can take over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, always follow the instructions.
If at any time there are doubts about the severity of the injury, you have to go to a medical center to confirm the diagnosis. The same happens if you continue to feel discomfort after two days, as it can be indicative of some complication.
As always, the best treatment is prevention. Protecting our eyes means looking after the eyes. Always wear safety goggles in work where there is a risk of damaging them, just like when playing sports. First aid on time could save the eye.