Every day, many people experience an eyelash falling into their eye, dust or dirt getting past lashes, or other minor problems that cause temporary discomfort. However, when a patient comes in with a corneal abrasion, it’s a different story! A corneal abrasion is when the eye is scratched or hurt in some way that causes damage, as opposed to an eyelash laying on the eye that is blinked out or helped along by tears. Corneal abrasions can take a while to heal as well. Let’s learn a little about what to do and what not to do when you experience this.
This is the most important thing to do when you realize that you have scratched or hurt your eye in some way. Make sure that you head to your ophthalmologist for an appointment. He will do a comprehensive medical eye exam and let you know the best course of action for healing.
DO: Rinse Eyes with Saline and Blink
When you rinse your eyes with saline solution, you are trying to clear away any bacteria or dust in your eyes. You want to avoid any infections, so this is important. You can blink as often as you want and rinse as recommended. You can also wear sunglasses if you’re having trouble with bright lights.
DON’T: Rub Your Eyes
As much as you want to rub your eye, it’s a bad idea. When you rub your eye, you are transferring bacteria from your hands to your eyes. If you have a corneal abrasion, this can mean infection! Keep your hands away from your eyes and blink instead. Additionally, if you rub your eyes, it can push anything stuck in your eye (dust, particles, etc.) deeper which will only further pain.
Unfortunately, you will need to get out your spare pair of glasses for the time being if you have a corneal abrasion. Contact lenses can not only irritate your corneal abrasion, but they can also transfer dirt and bacteria if not cleaned properly every time. Even if they are cleansed every time, your finger touching your eye will transfer that bacteria anyway. Stick to your glasses, and in no time you’ll be back to wearing contact lenses.
How long do corneal abrasions take to heal?
The healing time for corneal abrasions is dependent on the person, but in general, they take about a week to heal. This is because we blink often, and the abrasion is irritated each time by this. For some deep abrasions, you made need surgery. If you have an immediate and serious wound, go to the emergency room! However, if you have a minor corneal abrasion, you can expect it to heal in about a week following the advice of your ophthalmologist.
Need an Appointment?
If you need an appointment, it’s time to call Dr. Clifford Myers. Dr. Clifford Myers is a Board Certified ophthalmologist who will conduct a comprehensive medical eye exam and find out what’s going on and what the best steps are to treat the issue. Contact us for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment. If this is an emergency, call 911.