It’s always both uncomfortable and worrying when you get a foreign object in your eye. While most of these wounds can be treated with prescription eye drops and care, a corneal laceration presents a far more serious situation. These deep cuts in the eye require immediate medical attention from your eye care professional.
Corneal Abrasions and Lacerations – What’s the Difference?
The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped part of your eye that focuses the light you see. Because it’s at the front of your eye, it is the part that is most likely to be hit by any flying debris. This is most often how corneal abrasions and lacerations happen.
A corneal abrasion is a small wound on the cornea, such as a scratch or scrape. These can happen when objects such as flying particles, fingernails, or makeup brushes scratch your cornea and cause damage. It can also occur if you rub your eyes too hard.
A corneal laceration is more serious. It is a deep cut on the cornea that penetrates partially or entirely through the cornea. If this laceration is deep enough, it can tear into the eyeball itself. Immediate medical attention is required to close the cut and prevent infection.
Many examples of eye injuries happen because of flying objects that hit the eye, such as wood shavings or pieces of plastic. Eye protection is a vital part of keeping your eyes safe.
Symptoms of a Corneal Laceration
Corneal lacerations have several symptoms. See an eye care professional if you notice:
- Severe pain in your eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Tearing up
- Decreased or blurred vision
- Bleeding in your eye
- The feeling that something is in your eye
What to Do if You Suspect a Corneal Laceration
If something hits your eye, or you suspect eye damage, do not rinse your eye with water. Also, do not remove the object that hit your eye. Avoid rubbing your eye or applying any pressure to it. Gently place a shield over it, such as a cut-away paper cup bottom or loose gauze. Avoid any NSAID pain relievers since they can increase bleeding. Then get medical attention right away.