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The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped structure at the front of the eye. A corneal abrasion is a small scratch or graze to the cornea.
What are the signs and symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis is usually confirmed by a doctor who examines the cornea with a retinoscope or slit lamp. A drop of anaesthetic may be given to make the examination more comfortable although this is not always the case. A small amount of dye will also be put onto your eye so that the abrasion can be seen more clearly. This will make your eye look a little yellow and may leave a yellowish discoloration to your skin for a short period which will disappear by itself with time.
The following treatments may be recommended:
In addition to the above treatments we may encourage you to use a pad over the eye. This will help with your pain relief and also prevent the potential of further damage to the cornea if we have given you local anaesthetic drops when examining your eye.
Advice on use of any treatments recommended will be given to you by your nurse or doctor.
What happens if I do not get treatment?
The eye can be very painful, but in most cases the cornea heals and all symptoms pass. In some cases, inflammation and infection can occur if left untreated and may cause permanent damage.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Seek immediate medical attention from your local eye casualty department if you have vision loss or severe eye pain.
For general medical advice please use the NHS website, the NHS 111 service, walk-in-centres, or your GP.
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this article is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: August 2019
Review Date: December 2022