A 33 year old male professor presents to your office with left eye pain, redness, and photophobia after being scratched by his newborn child earlier in the day. Visual acuity in the eye is 20/40 with current glasses, and fluorescein staining highlights an area of abrasion on the central cornea:
- To review anatomy and principals of wound healing relevant to corneal abrasions
- To review various treatment modalities described for corneal abrasions
- To discuss recommendations with respect to follow-up of corneal abrasions
The patient is in significant pain and asks you what benefit patching the eye would provide. What is the most correct response:
Patching the eye significantly reduces the risk of infection
In fact, there is some thought that patching creates an environment suited to microbial growth which actually increases the risk of infection
Patching drastically reduces healing time
Contrary to popular belief, patching the eye does not result in an improvement in healing time based on current literature.
Patching is best performed with the concurrent use of a bandage contact lens
This would not generally be recommended.
Current literature suggests patching does not improve pain or healing timeCORRECT
A corneal abrasion is a disruption in the integrity of the corneal epithelium usually caused by mechanical injuries involving the ocular surface. It is the most common ocular injury and usually heals rapidly within 24–72 hours without significant sequelae.1 It is more common in males than females, and more common in working age individuals.2 Treatment involves pain management and avoiding secondary complications such as infection while the ocular surface heals.
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