What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear, transparent front window of the eye. It covers the iris (colored portion of the eye) and the round pupil. The cornea is composed of five layers. The outermost layer is called the epithelium.
WHAT IS CORNEAL ABRASION?
Corneal abrasion is an injury (scratch, scrape or cut) to the epithelium. Abrasions are commonly caused by fingernail scratches, paper cuts, makeup brushes, scrapes from tree or bush limbs and rubbing of the eye. Some eye conditions, such as dry eye, increase the chance of an abrasion. You may experience the following symptoms with corneal abrasion:
To detect an abrasion on the cornea, your eye care worker will use a special dye called fluorescein (pronounced FLOR-uh-seen) to illuminate the injury.
HOW IS CORNEAL ABRASION TREATED?
Treatment may include the following:
Minor abrasions usually heal within a day or two; larger abrasions take about a week. It is important not to rub the eye while it is healing and use the eyedrops as prescribed.
WHAT IS CORNEAL EROSION?
Corneal erosion is caused by a loose attachment of the surface layer of the corneal epithelium to the underlying tissues. This often occurs at the site of an earlier abrasion. It may occur spontaneously, often upon awakening in the morning. Erosion may occur in dry eyes. Symptoms are similar to those of a corneal abrasion: the feeling of something in your eye, pain, and soreness and redness of the eye, sensitivity to light, tearing and blurred vision. These symptoms are often noted upon waking and tend to recur.
HOW IS CORNEAL EROSION TREATED?
Treatment is the same as for corneal abrasion, with the addition of salt solution eyedrops or ointment. If the corneal erosion keeps occurring, further treatment may be needed, including;
HOW CAN CORNEAL ABRASION AND EROSION BE PREVENTED?
For maximum protection: