What Happens If You Injure Your Cornea?

YOung woman worried about her corneas

Your corneas are the thin layers of translucent tissue covering your eyes. The cornea handles shielding your pupil and the inside of your eye.

The pupil is essentially a small opening that opens and closes, but it is also important for your vision.

While the lens adjusts and focuses light that enters your eye to keep your vision from being blurry, the cornea focuses the majority of the light. This is why most refractive surgeries such as LASIK or PRK work by changing the shape of your corneas.

The cornea is quite durable and able to heal itself from surprising amounts of trauma. However, certain injuries can cause big problems.

If your eyes have been injured, you should see your eye doctor or emergency services as soon as possible. The faster you see someone about your injury, the more likely you can restore your vision.

Keep reading to learn more about what happens if you injure your cornea!

Corneal Scarring

Serious injuries to your cornea can result in scar tissue building up. Scarring can occur due to lacerations, burns, diseases, or improper contact lens usage.

Scarring causes blurry eyesight, pain, light sensitivity, eyelid swelling, and watery eyes. Treatment may include surgery that uses UV light, a full corneal replacement, or an artificial corneal transplant.

Corneal Abrasions

While the cornea is able to heal from minor scuffs, constants and deep scratches leave a mark. You can get a corneal abrasion from any number of things that make contact with your eye.

Dry eye syndrome causes an increased risk of a corneal abrasion. Your tears provide a lubricating barrier to danger.

If your eyes are dry enough, your eyelids may stick to your cornea, causing direct damage. Corneal abrasions may also cause light sensitivity, redness, and pain.

Even a small one can feel like a big deal due to how sensitive your eye is. Antibiotics, steroid medications, lubricating eye drops, or a combination of these are often enough to treat mild corneal abrasions.

Occasionally, a contact bandage will be needed to protect the area. Normal contact lens usage should be discontinued until the abrasion has healed.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers are open sores that appear on the cornea. They can be the result of infection, physical trauma, or chemical trauma.

They are usually preventable but cause severe irritation and inflammation when they occur. They look like a gray or white area on the cornea, ranging in levels of opacity.

Most ulcers occur due to bacterial infections. Because of this, ointments and eye drops are often used to heal the ulcer. Other treatments depend on the nature of the ulcer.

The bottom line with a cornea injury is to always seek medical attention. You never know when a corneal abrasion or a corneal ulcer may affect your vision.

Not acting quickly could result in a permanent loss of vision.

Concerned that you may have suffered a corneal injury? Schedule an appointment at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington, VT now! It’s important to seek medical attention immediately to save your vision.

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