The clear, protective “window” at the front of your eye is called the “cornea”.  The most common type of eye injuries involve the cornea.  A corneal abrasion is a superficial scratch to the cornea.  Don’t let the “superficial” term fool you, corneal abrasions can be painful.  If you have ever experienced a scratch to your eye, you can attest to this!

In case of a corneal abrasion, seek medical attention promptly.  Some corneal abrasions can become infected and result in a corneal ulcer, which is a serious complication.  Corneal abrasions can be caused by contact with dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings, metal particles and even the edge of a piece of paper.  Plant matter (tree branches, pine needles, etc.) can sometimes cause a delayed inflammation inside the eye.

How can you tell if you have a corneal abrasion?

  • Feel like you have sand in your eye
  • Excessive tears
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Redness around the eye

Steps YOU CAN take before seeing Dr. Oevermann

  • Blink multiple times. This action may remove small particles of dirt or dust.
  • Rinse your eye with clean water or saline solution. Rinsing your eye may remove the irritant.
  • Pull the upper eyelid over the bottom lid. Your lashes on the lower eyelid can brush the irritant from the undersurface of your upper eyelid.

 

Steps to AVOID before seeing Dr. Oevermann

  • Don’t rub your eye after an injury:  Pressing or touching your eye after a corneal abrasion can make the injury worse.
  • Don’t try to remove the object if it is embedded in your eye.  Do not try to remove a large object that makes closing your eye difficult.  Removal of the object should be done by Dr. Oevermann.
  • Don’t touch your eyeball with tweezers, cotton swabs or other instruments.