The cornea is the outer most transparent portion of the eye which works mostly as a protective shield to the iris and pupil. A cut or scratch in the cornea is known as an abrasion. Corneal Abrasion can happen due to various reasons such as scratch from fingernails, foreign objects such as metal shavings or dirt affecting the eyes, overexposure to UV rays, wearing contact lenses for long period of time, brushes used for makeup and many such similar factors can affect the cornea.
But the cornea usually takes care of small abrasions on its own. The healthy cells take necessary action and slide themselves over and cover the injured portion so as to avoid any further damage to the cornea and prevent any kind of infection that is likely to affect the eye. Certain things can be done at home itself so as to avoid corneal damage.
1. Rinse your eye well with water.
2. Keep the eyes closed for sometime. Do not rub.
3. Artificial lubricants that make your eyes tear are good.
4. Over the counter medicines for pain would help but if the pain persists even after one dose it is best to consult a doctor.
But in case the abrasion is too deep, the healing process takes much longer and in the meantime the person would experience symptoms like pain, blurring of vision, spasm in the eye, redness of the eyes, tearing and also extreme sensitivity to light. If this happens then one should not wait for the cornea to heal on its own but seek professional help. Antibiotics and cycloplegics would be used to treat the problem. Seeking medical help would be the solution when you experience eye pain without any significant problem, blurring or loss of vision and such other problems. Sometimes the wound can be so bad that a corneal transplant can be the only solution.
Opthalmoscopes are used to determine corneal abrasions but a better option would be slit lamp microscopes which give a more magnified view of the problem. Evaluation can be better with the slit lamp microscope. It is important to let the doctor know all the treatment and medication that has been taken in advance. Corneal Abrasions can happen to anyone anytime but those who are involved in work such as welding and contact lens wearers are more at risk. One can take precautionary measures at times. Wherever possible it is important that the eyes are shielded well. In case a corneal abrasion still happens seek medical help at the earliest so that the vision is not affected.