When somebody comes into our office here at Optometric Associates for an abrasion of some kind, typically we see referrals from local practitioners for this type of exam, and we’ll get them in on the same day and evaluate them. We’ll typically put a numbing drop in their eye to make them comfortable for our examination.
We then measure their level of vision to make sure the cornea wasn’t damaged other than just the surface. We’ll stain to look at the damage as well to see how extensive it is and depending on the location of the abrasion. We can treat it with a bandage type contact lens, where they can sleep with the lens in for 36 to 48 hours until they are healed.
Often, we’ll prescribe some kind of topical therapy such as an ointment or antibiotics that should help the eye heal as best as possible. We typically follow-up with them within one day to make sure everything is going well and then again in about a week to make sure the cornea is restoring to its original anatomy.
The corneal abrasion can have a flap of skin protruding or an entire missing area of skin. If you think of your eyelids like wiper blades on a windshield, just wiping and over and over on that damaged area of the windshield, it would actually make it a little worse. So, the skin that’s trying to grow and heal is being wiped away by your eyelids and that can be very painful. That’s where we use the bandage contact lenses to basically cover up the abrasion. They’re just kind of patching the problem temporarily while things underneath are healing.