CityMD doctor examining patient’s corneal abrasion

Corneal abrasion: how to prevent eye damage

Have you ever experienced that awful feeling of having something stuck in your eye, accompanied by pain and discomfort? It might be a corneal abrasion.

At CityMD urgent care, we have experience diagnosing and treating corneal abrasions and other eye injuries. Keep reading to learn about the causes and symptoms of corneal abrasions, treatment options, and prevention tips.

What is a corneal abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a common eye injury that occurs when the surface of the cornea, the eye's clear outer layer, is scratched or scraped. This injury can happen in various ways, from rubbing your eye too hard to getting a foreign object in your eye.

If you suspect a corneal abrasion or other eye injury, seek medical attention at your local CityMD urgent care as soon as possible.


Corneal abrasion causes

Corneal abrasions can happen for different reasons, such as getting sand, dust, or dirt in your eye, scratching your eye with a fingernail or makeup brush, or rubbing your eye too hard.

Sometimes, wearing contact lenses too long or not properly caring for them can cause an abrasion. Rarely, trauma to the eye, like a punch or getting hit in the face, can also cause a corneal abrasion.


Corneal abrasion symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of a corneal abrasion include the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Redness in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing or watering of the eye
  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • The sensation of having something in your eye
  • Difficulty opening or closing your eye

While most corneal abrasions will heal on their own with time, some may require medical intervention to prevent infection and promote healing.

The sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances of a full and speedy recovery.


Corneal abrasion treatment

The good news is that several treatment options are available to help relieve your symptoms. In most cases, a corneal abrasion will heal within a few days.

Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments to help speed up the healing process and ease your symptoms:

  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointments to prevent infection
  • Lubricating eye drops or ointments to soothe the eye and reduce irritation
  • Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce discomfort

More invasive treatments, like surgery or a corneal transplant, may be necessary in rare cases; however, most people with corneal abrasions will recover fully with proper treatment and care.

Your local CityMD urgent care doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment based on the severity of your injury and your individual needs.


Preventing eye damage

Here are some things you can do to protect your eyes:

  • Wear protective eyewear. Wear safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield if you're working with power tools, doing yard work, or participating in any activity that could cause something to fly into your eye.
  • Be careful when handling chemicals. If you're working with chemicals, wear protective gloves and eye gear. If any chemicals get into your eyes, flush them immediately with water and seek medical attention.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. You risk scratching your cornea with your fingernail when you rub your eyes. If you have an itch, try using eye drops to soothe the irritation instead.
  • Practice proper contact lens wear and care. Don’t wear your contacts longer than recommended or when your eyes are very dry. Wash your hands before gently applying and removing them. Clean and disinfect your contact lenses regularly.


Treating corneal abrasions at CityMD urgent care

A corneal abrasion may be a painful and uncomfortable eye injury. But with the proper treatment and care, you can be on your way to a full recovery in no time.

At CityMD, we offer prompt and convenient medical care for a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including corneal abrasions. Our experienced medical staff is available seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. You can even schedule a quick virtual care visit with a CityMD provider.

If you're dealing with a possible corneal abrasion or any other urgent medical concern, visit CityMD and let us help you feel better soon.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.