The front part of our eyes contains so many nerve endings that a deep cut can be extremely painful. It may cause a decrease in vision, foreign body sensation, excessive amounts of tearing, light sensitivity and just overall uncomfortable feeling.
As the name suggests, a corneal abrasion is a small cut or scratch on the cornea. An abrasion of the cornea is usually caused by a minor scratch caused by various factors like a fingernail scratching the eye while applying or removing contact lenses. A corneal laceration is a deeper cut, a more severe cut in the eye. A forceful impact on the eye, a high-speed flying object touching the eye, or a strike to the eye are the main causes. You should see an eye doctor immediately if either of these occur.
In all cases of a corneal laceration, it's very important to see an eye doctor right away. In the case of severe bleeding, a patient might need eye surgery right away because if not treated, it could result in permanent vision loss. If you or a loved one has had a corneal laceration please call our office right away to schedule an emergency eye exam. If the office is closed and your eye is bleeding or the cut is very deep please go to the emergency room or urgent care.
A deep cut to the eye is an emergency, although in most cases it is treatable if seen right away. During an emergency eye exam, when a patient has a deep cut in their eye, the eye doctor examines the front part of the eye under a microscope. Then fluorescein eye dye is applied to the front part of their eye to assess the extent of the cut, and the appropriate course of treatment can be determined. Patients with corneal abrasions are often first prescribed antibiotics since an open wound on the front of the eye might make their eyes more susceptible to infection. Optometrists advise patients to put copious amounts of lubrication into their eyes to relieve any discomfort or pain. After using antibiotic drops, wait about 10 to 15 minutes before using free preservative artificial tears, so that artificial tears do not flush antibiotics out of the eye.
Analgesics can be prescribed to a patient based on how severe their pain is. Patients may also be prescribed bandage contact lenses. These work like a band-aid over the wound. Patients with a deep cut in their eye may experience discomfort and friction every time they blink without these contact lenses, as their eyelid rubs against the front part of their eye. The bandage contact lenses on the top of the eye provide something between the eyelid and wound, so there is less friction which causes discomfort.
A fun fact about the cornea, the front part of the eye, is that it's the fastest healing tissue in our body, so if the injury is not severe, the patient would typically feel better in just a couple of days. However, it's very important to follow the eye doctor's instructions thoroughly.
Additionally, it's important to prevent any of these injuries from happening in the first place. As a result, if you work on a site where you are at risk of eye injury, such as in construction, plumbing, or any other occupation that could increase your risk of eye injury, it is very important to wear appropriate eye shields and goggles to protect your eyes from any sort of harm. It is very important to visit your eye doctor immediately if you experience any of these injuries.