Corneal injury is damage to the cornea— the clear, dome-shaped outer layer of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. The cornea is responsible for refracting light and helping the eye to focus properly. It also protects your eye from dust, dirt, and other foreign objects. Corneal injury can occur due to a variety of factors, including:
Foreign objects like sand, makeup brushes, branches, fingernails, or metal can penetrate the cornea, causing abrasions or lacerations.
If your contact lenses don’t fit properly, they may scratch your cornea. Overwearing them can also be an issue, causing conditions such as corneal abrasions or neovascularization.
Viral or bacterial infections such as bacterial conjunctivitis can lead to temporary or permanent corneal injury.
Chemicals such as bleach and other acidic or alkaline irritants can cause serious corneal injury if they get into the eyes.
Exposure to the sun and UV rays can cause eyelid, corneal, and conjunctival inflammation.Symptoms of Corneal Injury
Corneal injuries can range from a scratch to a deep cut. If you have a corneal injury, you may experience the following symptoms: eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye, blurred vision, eye discharge, eye spasms, swelling of the eyelids, and light sensitivity.Our Specialist
The treatment of corneal injury depends on the severity of the injury and the extent of damage to the cornea. A corneal injury should be treated as soon as possible to avoid the risk of infection. An infection in the cornea could lead to a sore known as a corneal ulcer. Some treatment options include:
If your cornea is scratched, lubricating eye drops can help relieve symptoms. They will moisturize your eye and reduce inflammation.
Antibiotic eye drops can be prescribed if your corneal injury is a result of an infection or might lead to an infection.
Your healthcare provider can place a bandage contact lens over your cornea to help it heal. The lens will act as a protective barrier, reducing friction and protecting the eye from further damage.
A partial thickness corneal transplant is also known as lamellar keratoplasty (LK). The procedure involves the removal and replacement of only the injured layers of the cornea. It is a less invasive procedure compared to penetrating keratoplasty.
If your cornea is fully damaged from the injury, you may need a replacement of it with a healthy donor cornea. During the procedure, the entire thickness of your cornea will be removed and replaced with donor tissue. This is also known as penetrating keratoplasty (PK)
We treat a range of eye diseases and conditions at Lehigh Eye Specialists, including corneal injuries. Although injuries and abrasions to the cornea are very common, the care we provide is always tailored to the unique needs of our patients.
If you’ve been referred to our practice, we look forward to caring for you. You can trust that your precious eyesight is in the best of hands with our team of experts. Prior to your upcoming appointment, we invite you to get to know us. You’ll find information and forms to help you prepare for your visit on our patient portal page.About Us Patient Resources