A look at the long term damage of a scratched cornea.
The eye is a very sensitive area of the body and serious complications can occur if damage is left untreated. However, one of the more specific areas of the eye that requires attention (if harmed) is the cornea. A corneal abrasion occurs when the surface of the cornea is torn, scratched, or scraped from an outside object. Such outside objects could be a contact lens, flying glass, a tree branch, or a finger.
Yet regardless of what happened to be the culprit in harming the cornea, the damage can be extremely painful since the cornea contains more nerve endings than any part of the human body. So with this being said, we're going to cover corneal abrasions and how the damage can effect your vision long term.
What Does a Corneal Abrasion Look Like?
A corneal abrasion normally brings redness to the eye. In terms of corneal abrasion discomfort, it feels like an object is trapped in the eye, it makes your eyes more sensitive to light, it makes your eyes tear up, it causes blurry vision, and (of course) pain. Since many injuries occur in one eye only, corneal abrasions are easy to identify. It should be mentioned that many of these corneal abrasions are the result from the incorrect use of contact lenses.
Corneal Abrasion Healing Process
Since much of this depends on how severe the damage is, most corneal abrasions heal in 24 to 48 hours with no permanent (or serious) damage. If the pain persists, contacting your eye doctor is the best bet to avoid serious damage. In many cases, the eye doctor will give you an anesthetic eye drop to ease pain and help avoid infection.
Some cases require a patch to prevent the eye from moving within the eyelid. This way new cells can reconnect to undamaged cornea layers during the healing process. If you happen to wear contact lenses and have a corneal abrasion, you may need to refrain from contact use for at least 24 hours after diagnosis and treatment.
Corneal Abrasions & Long Term Damage
The aftermath of a corneal abrasion can range from the simple to the complex. A superficial abrasion rarely leads to permanent vision loss... but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Checking with an eye doctor is important (regardless of the severity) due to the issues a damaged cornea can present. Since more issues can occur (and possibly re-occur over time) during the healing process, make sure you don't rub your eye until professional attention has been notified of the injury.