Corneal trauma is an injury to the cornea. Eye injuries are common, whether minor or serious, and can be the result of many causes. As with any injury, protecting the injured area and seeking immediate treatment are the first steps.
What Are The Symptoms Of Corneal Trauma?
Symptoms of corneal trauma can include pain, blurred or distorted vision, tearing, swelling, or the feeling that something is in your eye (in fact, a foreign body may have created the trauma).
What Causes Corneal Trauma?
Many factors can cause corneal trauma. Among the most common are:
- Abrasions: Includes scratches or scrapes on the surface of the cornea
- Chemical injuries: Caused by acids or bases (such as cleaning products) that get into the eye
- Contact lens problems: Overuse, poor fit, or sensitivity to contact lens care solutions
- Foreign bodies: Exposure to something in the eye, such as sand, dust, or metal
- Ultraviolet injuries: Caused by sunlight, sun lamps, snow or water reflections, or arc-welding
Your environment may make you more susceptible to corneal injuries. Protect your eyes if you are exposed to sunlight or artificial UV light for long periods, if you work in dusty conditions, or if you use tools that may cause chips or sparks (safety glasses are very important). You may also experience corneal trauma if you abuse contact lens use, or do not practice good contact lens hygiene.
What Are The Treatments For Corneal Trauma?
If you or someone around you has an eye injury, first aid is critical. DO NOT attempt to remove an object that is stuck in the eye without professional medical help. If chemicals or paint are splashed into the eye, flush the eye with water IMMEDIATELY.
In such instances, take the injured person to a doctor or emergency room promptly. This is especially true if the individual is experiencing pain.
Trauma treatment may require professional removal of foreign objects from the eye and wearing an eye patch or bandage contact lens during healing. Prescription eye drops or ointments may also be needed to avoid infection and promote healing. Pain medication may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort, and the patient may need to avoid wearing contact lenses until the eye has healed.
The emergency care or eye care specialist may also schedule follow-up visits to monitor healing.