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A corneal abrasion is a small scratch on the clear layer of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. This condition is characterized by a feeling of lump in the eye, watery and red eyes, and excessive pain when looking at light. Handling also needs to be done immediately to prevent further eye damage
The cornea is the outermost part of the eye that functions as a protective layer and contains many nerve cells. Therefore, small scratches on this area can cause discomfort and feel lumpy and do not improve even after closing your eyes.
Causes of Corneal Abrasion
Corneal abrasion or scratched cornea can occur due to various things, such as:
- The cornea is exposed to dust, dirt, sand, ash, wood shavings, metal particles, or even the edges of a sheet of paper.
- The eye is accidentally pierced with a fingernail, pen or make-up tool
- Eye injury due to chemicals entering the eye
- eyes rubbed too hard
- Excessive use of contact lenses or dirty and ill-fitting contact lenses
- Complications of eye infection
- Sports or high-risk activities without protective eyewear, such as swimming, welding, or metal cutting
In addition to the various causes above, there are also several conditions that can increase a person's risk of experiencing corneal abrasion, namely:
- Dry eyes
- The eyelids can't close or it's hard to close during sleep
- History of corneal abrasion or eye injury
- Genetic disorders of the cornea, such as corneal dystrophy
How to Overcome Corneal Abrasion
If you feel something is in your eye, don't rub it right away, as this will only make the corneal scratch worse. Instead of rubbing your eyes, try the following ways to treat corneal abrasions:
- Rinse eyes with clean running water, especially if exposed to chemicals or liquids.
- Try blinking a few times to get rid of small particles in your eyes, such as dust or sand.
- Avoid dripping any liquid or substance into the eyes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses while you are recovering.
- Avoid using make-up in the eye area, such as mascara and eye shadow.
- Do not remove or remove any object stuck to the cornea of the eye.
- Do not touch the eyeball with cotton wool, tweezers or any other tool.
- Wear sunglasses when doing outdoor activities to protect your eyes from the sun
- Wear protective glasses when working, for example when welding or cutting metal.
Corneal abrasions usually heal on their own within 1-2 days if treated properly. Otherwise, corneal abrasion can lead to infection or cause a corneal ulcer. This condition can also lead to decreased quality of vision or even blindness.
If the above methods don't work for your corneal abrasion, you may need immediate treatment by a doctor.
The doctor will assess whether there is a small visible object that is still stuck in the cornea, take the small object in a special way, and give eye drops or antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and reduce pain and redness.
Although it looks mild, corneal abrasion is not a condition that can be taken lightly. If you experience sudden eye pain accompanied by red, watery eyes, pain when seeing light, decreased vision, and a feeling of lump even though there is no visible object stuck in the eye, immediately consult a doctor.