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Exploring the Causes of Corneal Injuries

By Walter Choate on December 28, 2017

Portrait of a woman with a surgical bandage over her left eyeWhen the clear film that protects the front of your eye is damaged, it is referred to as a corneal injury. This condition is quite common, and can be caused by several different factors, including infections, ultraviolet light, and foreign bodies becoming trapped in the eye.

At Choate Eye Associates in Nashville, TN, we offer treatments for a variety of eye conditions, including corneal injuries and abrasions. Here, we discuss common causes of corneal injuries, and what you can do to treat the problem if it occurs.

Direct Injury

Corneal abrasions can occur anytime the outer layer of the cornea becomes scraped or scratched. You could sustain an injury if you poke yourself in the eye with your fingernail or another object, such as a pencil or makeup brush. Additionally, excessively rubbing your eye can lead to corneal injury.

Eye Infections

Bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitical eye infections are often closely related to corneal injuries. For example, if you have herpes simplex keratitis, you are more likely to develop a corneal injury as a result.

In most cases, corneal abrasion occurs first, and then leads to an eye infection. Other causes of eye infections include extremely dry eyes, severe allergic eye disease, eyelids that cannot close completely, inflammatory disorders, and more.

Contact Lens Issues

Contact lenses are an excellent vision correction option. However, they can cause painful issues if they are not cared for properly.

For example, many soft contact lenses are supposed to be removed before sleeping. If they remain in your eyes overnight, it can result in corneal ulcers, abrasions, and infections.

Some patients are simply more sensitive to contact lenses. Therefore, it is important to exercise proper care and caution when handling, cleaning, and storing them.

Foreign Bodies

If the eyes are exposed to a foreign substance such as sand, dirt, or dust, these particles can scratch the outer layer of the cornea.

The natural reaction when a foreign body becomes stuck under your eyelid is to rub your eye. Try not to do this. Instead, blink multiple times, and rinse your eye with sterile saline or clean water.

If this does not work, you can gently pull your upper eyelid over the lower lid. This can sometimes help dislodge the particle.

Chemical Injuries

Nearly any chemical that comes in contact with your eye can lead to serious damage, including disfigurement or visual impairment. If you have experienced an eye injury due to a chemical splash, contact a medical professional right away. This type of injury can be extremely dangerous; early treatment gives you the most optimal chance of a successful outcome.

Ultraviolent Injuries

Sometimes referred to as corneal flash burns, ultraviolet injuries occur from overexposure to UV radiation. This could be caused by direct sunlight, flood lamps, sun lamps, welders’ arcs, and even certain halogen light bulbs.

This condition is often described as a sunburn on the eyes. It can lead to discomfort, changes in vision, or total vision loss. To prevent this type of injury, it is important to wear protective eyewear whenever necessary.

Learn More about Corneal Injuries

If you suspect you have a corneal injury or abrasion, schedule a consultation with Dr. Choate today. He can help you determine an effective treatment plan for your situation, and can recommend ways to avoid the problem again in the future. You can contact us online anytime or call our office at (615) 851-7575.

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I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam. Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient

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Goodlettsville Office

306 Northcreek Blvd
Ste 101
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

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Goodlettsville Office

306 Northcreek Blvd
Ste 101
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Open Today 7:30am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (615) 851-7575