Even something as innocent as catching up on a little spring pruning in the garden can result in an eye injury. The doctors at Primary Eyecare evaluate and treat several patients each year with corneal abrasions caused by tree branches, pine needles, blowing debris, or other typically harmless elements in our surroundings. Our eyes are extremely delicate tissues, and they are easily damaged. Fortunately for us, our eyes are remarkably adept at healing when things go wrong, too.

The cornea is the clear tissue over the colored part of the eye. Millions of pain-receptor nerves reside in this tissue, the purpose of which is to cause immediate awareness of any threat to the wellbeing of the corneal tissue. Even the smallest corneal abrasions are extremely painful and have the uncanny capacity to debilitate the toughest of men. Fortunately, the cornea has the wonderful ability to heal itself swiftly. Most abrasions do not cause permanent scarring or long-term vision loss when they are treated properly and promptly. However, severe injuries to the cornea may leave scarring that permanently damages or destroys eyesight.

Treatment of a corneal abrasion involves the removal of any remaining foreign objects in the eye, prevention of infections by antibiotics, pain management, and facilitation of the healing process. The constant eyelid movement over the abrasion slows the healing process and further agitates the wound. Often, the doctor will place a “bandage” contact lens on the eye for overnight wear to create a shield over the abrasion. This hastens the healing process and helps alleviate pain. In addition, doctors may dilate the affected eye with a long-lasting dilation eyedrop to aid in pain reduction. Over-the-counter or prescription oral pain medications are normally utilized to control significant pain.

Corneal abrasions are best managed by a doctor rather than by self-treatment. Given the possible chance for a secondary infection as well as the possibility of long-term scarring, it is advisable to be safe and have it evaluated by an eye doctor at Primary Eyecare.

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