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Corneal Abrasion

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS -  - Ophthalmologist

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS

Ophthalmologist located in Reston, VA

A corneal abrasion, or scratch on your cornea, may not sound like a serious problem, but since it’s on your highly delicate eye tissue, even a tiny scratch can be extremely painful. At his office in Reston, Virginia, compassionate and experienced ophthalmologist David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS, treats eye injuries of all types in-house. If you’re hurting, call the office or book an appointment online today. Same-day appointments are often available.

Corneal Abrasion Q & A

What is a corneal abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a small scratch on the top layer of your eye’s cornea. A corneal abrasion can cause symptoms such as:

  • Serious pain
  • Grainy sensation in your eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye inflammation

If you’re dealing with these symptoms, it’s best to take action promptly, before the injury can ulcerate.

What causes eye injuries?

You can get corneal abrasions in a number of different ways, including:

  • Dry eyes
  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Fingernails (often from inserting or removing contacts)
  • Dirt, dust, or sand particles in the eye

Other eye injuries are often caused by foreign objects in the eye, trauma, or chemical burns. Regardless of how your eye injury happened, it’s crucial that you take the right steps to protect your eyes promptly.

What should I do if I get something in my eye?

Call Dr. Chow right away for help. In the meantime, don’t put your fingers in your eyes, and don’t rub them. Blink your eyes repeatedly to help your natural tear film dislodge the particle and wash it away.

It’s generally safe to flush your eyes gently with a sterile eyewash or saline solution if you feel like you have sand or other tiny particles trapped inside your eyes.

If you wear contact lenses, don’t try to place contacts in your eyes while they’re irritated or hurting. This could potentially trap a foreign body or bacteria in your eye or possibly worsen a corneal abrasion and turn it into an ulcer.

For anything larger than a grain of sand trapped in your eye, it may not come out naturally. Never try to extract an object in your eye using tweezers or any other tool or object. This runs the risk of much worse injury.

Don’t use any over-the-counter eyedrops or other solutions, as they may make the problem worse. Dr. Chow can often see patients with corneal abrasions or other eye injuries on the same day, so get in touch right away for expert guidance.

How are corneal abrasions treated?

Treatments can include antibiotic eye drops, ointments, and sometimes special contacts lenses that work as a bandage during healing.

As long as you seek treatment for corneal abrasions and other eye injuries right away, you can avoid serious long-term consequences like corneal scarring and vision loss.

Dr. Chow can help with all kinds of eye injuries, so call his office or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.