What is a Corneal Abrasion?

The Cornea

The Cornea

76er’s Hollis Thompson just got a corneal abrasion during a preseason game. Thompson was hit in the left eye during the game couldn’t play for the rest of the game. But what is a corneal abrasion?

All of the patients we see at the Hargrave Eye Center are there for eyesight issues, but sometimes they are recovering from an injury. A corneal abrasion is the most common eye injury and the problem is that it often goes untreated. It happens because of a disruption of the corneal epithelium or often, and in the case of Thompson, the surface of the cornea is scraped away as a result of external forces. 

The good news is that corneal abrasions heal rapidly so Mr. Thompson shouldn’t worry about getting back to the court but he also shouldn’t take the injury lightly. Deep corneal involvement may result in facet formation or even scar formation. Corneal abrasions can occur in other situations as well. Corneal or epithelial disease, also known as dry eye, other ocular injuries, and contact lens wear are all other common causes of corneal abrasion. Less frequently it is a result of recurrent corneal erosion syndrome.

Abrasions by foreign bodies are defects in the corneal epithelium and are left behind after spontaneous dislodgement of a corneal foreign body. Foreign body abrasions are often caused by a piece of wood while woodworking, glass or plastic, or even vegetable material that is embedded in the cornea. Contact lens abrasions are defects in the corneal epithelium that might remain after removing improperly cleaned, or improperly fitting contact lens’. Spontaneous defects in the corneal epithelium happen without injury or foreign body. The eyes of people that have suffered a previous corneal abrasion or eyes that have a defect in the corneal epithelium often have this issue.

The treatment to cornel abrasions is pretty straightforward, and pain relief is given.

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