1OverviewCorneal injury describes an injury to thecornea. The cornea is the crystal clear(transparent) tissue covering the frontof the eye. It works with the lens of the eye tofocus images on the retina.
2Symptoms-- Being very sensitive tolight-- Blurred vision-- Decrease in vision-- Eye pain
3Symptomsor stinging and burning in the eye-- Feeling like something is in your eye, called aforeign-bodysensation-- Redness ofthe eye, "bloodshot" eyes
4Symptoms-- Swollen eyelids-- Watery eyes or increased tearing
5DiagnosesA complete eye exam must be done. The healthcare provider may use a special stain calledfluorescein, placed on the surfaceof the eye.Tests that are used to examine the eye for
6Diagnosesdamage to the cornea include:Standardophthalmic examSlit lampexaminationof the eye
7TreatmentSee: Eye emergenciesfor information on immediate first aid.Anyone with severe eye pain needs to beevaluated in an emergency care center or by anophthalmologist immediately.
8TreatmentTreatment for corneal injuries may involve:Removingany foreign material from the eyeWearing aneye patch or temporary bandage contact lens
9TreatmentUsing eyedrops or ointments prescribed by the doctorNot wearingcontact lenses until the eye has healedTaking painmedicines
10TreatmentAn abrasion or foreign object that is largeenough to damage the cornea may not be visiblewithout proper magnification orspecial eye drops that stain the cornea. Abrasionswill often feel like foreignbodies in the eye.
11CausesInjuries to the cornea are common.Injuries to the outer surface of the cornea,called corneal abrasions, may be caused by:Chemical
12Causesirritation - from almost any fluid that gets into theeyeOveruse ofcontact lenses or lenses that dont fit correctlyReaction orsensitivity to contact lens solutions and cosmetics
13CausesScratchesor scrapes on the surface of the cornea (called anabrasion)Somethinggetting into the eye (such as sand or dust)Sunlight,
14Causessun lamps, snow or water reflections, or arc-weldingInfectionsmay also damage the cornea.High-speed particles, such as chips from
15Causeshammering metal on metal, may becomeembedded in the surface of the cornea.Rarely, they may pass through the cornea and godeeper into the eye.Injuries that affect only the surface of thecornea normally heal very rapidly with treatment.The eye should be back to
16Causesnormal within 2 days.Penetrating corneal injuries are much moreserious. The outcome depends on the specificinjury. Severe corneal injury may require extensivesurgery or a cornea transplant.
17RisksYou are more likely to develop a cornealinjury if you:Are exposedto sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light for longperiods of time
18RisksHaveill-fitting contact lenses or overuse your contactlensesHave very dry eyesWork in adusty environment
19Prevention-- Wear safety goggles at all times when using handor powertools or chemicals, during high impact sports, or inother situations wherethere is a potential for eye injury.
20Prevention-- Wear sunglasses designed to screen ultravioletlight whenyou are exposed to sunlight, even during thewinter.-- Be careful when using household cleaners. Manyhouseholdproducts contain strong acids, alkalis, or otherchemicals. Drain and oven
21Preventioncleaners are particularly dangerous. They can leadto blindness if not usedcorrectly.