WHAT IS THE CORNEA?
The cornea is the anterior, transparent part of the eye that acts as a window, letting the external light in the eye to produce the visual effect.
WHAT IS CORNEAL EROSION OR ABRASION?
The cornea can be scratched or damaged by several causes, such as contact lenses, a fingernail, a branch, or other objects, producing eye redness. Certain diseases of the cornea have also a family predisposition.
HOW ARE THE CORNEAL ABRASIONS TREATED?
The most common treatment is the occlusion of the eye so that the damaged epithelium can heal. Occlusion reduces pain, prevents constant eye blinking caused by the irritation of the affected area. The eye hurts more when it moves, and because both eyes move at once, it is advisable to let the other eye rest, avoiding activities that force focusing on moving objects. An antibiotic can be prescribed to prevent infections.
Corneal erosions may be recurrent, requiring prolonged occlusion or use of special therapeutic lenses as well as eye drops or ointments.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
If a bacterium enters inside the corneal tissue, through the eroded epithelium, this may result in an infection or a severe corneal ulcer. This can be a serious problem and cause loss of vision in that eye.
Anesthetic drops relieve pain but they can delay healing when used often and can trigger recurrent erosion that can be more difficult to cure.
WHAT IS THE NORMAL DEVELOPMENT?
Normally corneal erosion or abrasion heals within a week. Sometimes erosion may recur if the epithelium is altered or if the eye is red. This condition often occurs upon waking up in the morning.
In most cases corneal erosion will heal completely. Yet, an ophthalmologist must carry out the eye care, as only he/she can diagnose and treat this disease, avoiding the afore-mentioned complications.
WHY A REGULAR EYE EXAM IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR HEALTH?
Eye disease can appear at any age. Many diseases do not cause symptoms until the process has produced serious damages. Blindness is preventable if it is diagnosed and treated early, thus regular medical examination by an ophthalmologist is very important. Why an ophthalmologist? Because only an ophthalmologist can provide global eye care: optical, medical or surgical treatments. We recommend regular eye exams every one or two years, whether there are symptoms or not. This is especially important in cases with family history of eye disorders and generally from age 40.