A corneal laceration is a tear or cut of the cornea - the front lining of the eyeball. It is usually caused by something sharp flying into the eye or an impact from something sharp.
Symptoms of a corneal laceration
Symptoms include pain in the eye with the feeling that there may be something stuck in the eye. The patient may have affected vision with increased sensitivity to light. The pupil may appear tear shaped rather than round and there may be bleeding in the eye.
The most common causes of corneal lacerations are activities which may cause something to fly up and enter the eye. These include chopping wood, strimming grass, and carving stone.
A corneal laceration is deeper than a corneal abrasion which simply scratches the cornea rather than cutting through it.
Treatment of a corneal laceration
If you suspect a corneal laceration, seek medical attention immediately. An ophthalmologist or doctor who specialises in eyes will examine the eye. They may use numbing drops to make this more comfortable for you and to encourage you to keep the eye open.
An eye stain may also be used to help detect the amount of damage. Surgery is usually required to repair corneal lacerations. Any fragments remaining in the eye will also need to be removed. The eye will be patched following surgery to protect it.
A cornea abrasion is a scratch on the cornea of the eye from an external object. This might be a finger, a twig or small pieces of paper or gravel blown up in the wind.
Symptoms of a cornea abrasion
Symptoms include pain in the eye with a gritty feeling when blinking. The patient may have the feeling of something stuck in the eye. Watering eyes, visual disturbances and a dislike of bright light are also symptoms of a cornea abrasion.
The most common cause of a corneal abrasion is getting a foreign object in the eye which scratches the surface. Examples include being poked in the eye or pieces of leaf or twig which have been blown up in the wind.
Other causes include contact lens use. Contact lenses which are poorly fitted, overworn or unclean may also cause damage to the cornea.
Corneal abrasions tend to heal on their own in time. Anti-biotics may be given to avoid infection. Your doctor may also prescribe painkillers. If in doubt visit a doctor or optician.