18. June 2011 06:00
In our office, we see many types of corneal abrasions which can create a great deal of pain. The size of the abrasion can have an impact on how we like to treat these patients. We typically use frequent ointments, bandage contact lenses or a well applied patch.
If a patient has a minor scratch or abrasion, frequent use of an ointment often works well. This coats the abrasion and allows the cells to heal the minor defect under the ointment. The ointment typically is an antibiotic which also helps prevent infection. In previous years, patches were often used for larger abrasions. An ointment would be placed in the eye and the patch would be placed over the eye firmly and taped to the skin. This would prevent the eyelid from moving up and down so the abrasion could heal properly. In the last 10-15 years, bandage contact lenses have become very popular. This can be placed on the cornea (like a regular contact) to cover the corneal abrasion. The eyelid now moves over the contact lens which protects the cornea and allows the corneal abrasion or defect to heal. An obvious advantage is that the patient can see through the contact lens and use both eyes without having depth perception issues. The patient usually will follow up in the office in 1-2 days for contact lens removal and a re-check of the abrasion.
If you have a corneal abrasion, talk with your eye care professional about all your treatment options. Remember, protect those eyes!!
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