So, this is my very first blog ever and what I have on my mind is corneal abrasions, commonly called a scratched eye. Scratches on the eye cause intense pain, blurred vision, watery eyes, and light sensitivity. I see an average of one patient a week with this, and this week it was my turn to be the patient. While I always feel like I empathize with patients, this week I really understand how painful and debilitating eye pain is. When you are in this kind of pain, it is hard to think of anything else. This is NOT the time to head to the emergency room! Instead, call your Optometrist even if it is after hours. Common treatments are:
- Drops to prevent infection
- Drops to keep the eye moist
- Drops or a bandage contact lens for pain.
Expect to see your eye doctor once a day until healing is established.
Once the pain has been managed you may start wondering how did this happen, and when will it heal. Generally speaking, the eye heals very fast. The cornea (the part of the eye a contact lens rests on) has many layers. When the layers are disrupted or abruptly removed an abrasion is formed. Causes can be mechanical (ex: tree branch in eye), chemical (ex: soap in eye), or from dehydration (ex: extremely dry eyes). Most abrasions are completely healed in seven days; many times the intense pain is only for the first 24 to 48 hours. Good clear vision takes the longest to heal. One key point to remember is it is very important to keep the eyes wet so that the abrasion does not re-occur.
Most people, when this happens or any other minor eye condition, immediately think to go the their family physician to be seen. You should absolutely come to see your eye doctor first. Sometimes there may be additional problems that the or she is just not equipped to handle and will refer you to us anyways. Skip the extra medical bill and just come see us first.
Remember us next time you have any eye problems. Call us anytime – during working AND non-working hours for this or ANY eye emergency: 850.479.7379.
Dr. Jill Anderson has been practicing optometry since 1995. She had her own practice from 1997 – 2010 and has recently joined us here at Sight & Sun Eyeworks. She received her degree as a Doctor of Optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She is a highly skilled Contact Lens Specialist.