A corneal laceration is one of the most serious problems that could occur to your eye – an actual cut across the cornea in the front of your eye, which you see through. If your eye ever becomes directly damaged by objects or debris, you are in danger of losing sight in that eye unless you seek proper medical attention immediately.

Corneal lacerations are most commonly caused by flying debris, such material fragments from metalworking or woodworking. Always use eye protection when engaging in any activity that can create small flying objects.

How to Handle a Corneal Laceration

If you believe your eye has been cut:

1 – DO NOT rub the eye, rinse it, or attempt to manually remove any embedded materials. You will have a strong instinct to do this, but resist. Putting any additional pressure on the eye would only make the damage worse.

2 – If possible, rig up some eye protection which keeps the eye in darkness. For example, cut the bottom off a styrofoam cup and tape it into place around the damaged eye. Again, do not put any extra pressure on the eye itself. If you happen to have an eyepatch, such as from a pirate costume, that could also work as long as it does not directly touch the wounded eye.

3 – Contact a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately. Time is critical; the longer your eye goes without treatment the worse the long-term damage may be.

How Corneal Lacerations Are Treated

Treatment depends on the severity of the wound. In a best-case scenario the cornea has only suffered an abrasion, a surface scratching. Minor abrasions and very shallow cuts can often heal themselves in a few days. In these situations, you’ll likely be given an eye patch, some antibiotic eye drops, and possibly pain killers.

However, if the cut is deeper, then surgery will likely be required to remove embedded objects and close the cut. With the worst lacerations, multiple surgeries may even be necessary.

Should you suffer a severe corneal laceration, you will also be at elevated risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment going forward. There may also be long-term changes to your vision or glasses prescription as a result.

Protect Your Eyes!

Again, wear eye protection whenever your eye might be exposed to flying debris! Prevention is the best policy here.

If you believe your eye has been directly cut or scraped, contact Valley Eyecare Center ASAP. We will evaluate your situation and make referrals as needed.