A corneal abrasion is a disruption of the corneal epithelium.
- This is usually caused by an injury to the eye in some form, e.g.:
- Trauma from a large object e.g. finger(nail)s, mascara brushes, paper etc
- Trauma from particles e.g. dust, sand, debris
- Trauma from contact lens wear
- Ocular foreigh body under the eyelid
- corneal foreign body
- UV keratitis
- Corneal abrasions will usually be very painful, and there may be associated lacrimation and pericorneal injection of the eye. Photophobia is usually also present.
- Typically, abrasions will be easy to visualise with fluorescein staining. NB some patients may require some topical anaesthetic before an examination can take place to ease the pain.
- Other signs of corneal ulceration and infection should be looked for e.g. dendritic morphology, hypopyon etc.
- Also other signs of trauma/damage should be sought (full ophthalmology examination)
- Chloramphenicol ointment is often prescribed to soothe the eye as well as prevent secondary infection. The cornea should heal in 1-2 days (normally). If the abrasion persists for longer than 7 days, another cause should be considered e.g. trochomatis.