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Causes of Corneal Injuries

By David Gross on November 28, 2017


CorneaThe cornea is the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye. The cornea works with the lens of the eye to refract light so it can be focused to create images. If the cornea becomes injured, temporary vision problems may develop. Injuries to the cornea are also known to cause irritation and discomfort.

At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, our experienced doctors offer a full range of eye care services to preserve and restore eye health. We can treat the most common corneal injuries to improve patient comfort and treat vision problems that have developed. Here, we discuss the most common causes of corneal injuries that affect our Merrillville, IN patients.

Abrasions

The leading type of corneal injury is a corneal abrasion, which is a scratch or scrape on the surface of the cornea. There is a wide range of causes of corneal injuries.

Most commonly, a scratch occurs when the cornea is scraped by a finger or fingernail. Many patients inadvertently scratch their own cornea, but other people or objects can also scratch the cornea.

Parents may also suffer from a corneal abrasion while playing with a young child. Or, the cornea can be scratched during a physical alteration. Finally, an abrasion can be caused by foreign objects, including dirt, a mascara wand, a piece of paper, or even a contact lens.

Chemical Exposure

The eyes are delicate organs. If harsh chemicals get into the eye, it can cause a range of problems, including corneal injuries. Injuries from chemical exposure most typically take place at the workplace and are most common among those working in industrial settings. Even when safety goggles are being worn, chemicals may get into the eye and burn the delicate tissues of the cornea or deeper layers of the eye.

Issues Related to Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a discreet option for those who require prescription lenses to correct vision imperfections. Unfortunately, many people misuse contact lenses or wear lenses that are ill fitting. Contact lenses that do not fit well may rub the eye and cause a corneal abrasion.

Misuse of contact lenses can also lead to issues. The biggest mistake made by contact lens wearers is the overuse of the contact lenses. If contact lenses are worn for too long or while the patient sleeps, they deprive the eyes of oxygen and deplete moisture from the eyes. This can lead to corneal abrasions.

Ultraviolet Injuries

Just like the skin of the body, the eyes are vulnerable to damage from UV rays. Overexposure to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet rays (such as those from sun lamps or tanning beds) can cause radiation injury to the eyes.

The cornea absorbs most of the UV rays, so it is most susceptible to this type of damage. In most cases, a corneal injury caused by UV exposure will not come on suddenly, but rather will develop over time as a result of cumulative exposure.

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Corneal injuries can cause severe, long-term damage to the health and function of the eyes. However, with timely treatment, most patients can restore vision and preserve eye health.

If you are suffering from corneal irritation, or have noticed a change in vision, contact us at your earliest convenience to set up an eye exam with one of the experienced doctors at Deen-Gross Eye Centers.

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Richard B - St. John, IN

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