All present with redness, pain and photophobia in the eye.

Corneal abrasion, foreign bodies and ulcer

Corneal abrasion is a scratch on your eye. It can happen in an instant because you either poke your eye or something gets trapped under your eyelid, like dirt or sand. Your eye hurts, and it doesn’t get better when you close it – if you can keep it shut. Light makes it sting and burn.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Feel like you have sand or grit in your eye
  • Have pain, especially when you open or close your eye
  • Notice tearing and redness
  • Become sensitive to light
  • Have blurred vision.

How Is It Treated?

Your specialist will prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or ointment to keep your eye from getting infected. She might also give you medicated eyedrops to ease pain and redness, along with pain medicine. A minor scratch should heal on its own in 1 to 3 days. More severe abrasions may take longer.

Foreign bodies:

Any material such as dust, sand or paint that gets into the eye is called a foreign body. Foreign bodies fall into two categories.

  • Superficial foreign bodies: these stick to the front of the eye or get trapped under one of the eyelids, but do not enter the eye.
  • Penetrating foreign bodies: these penetrate the outer layer of the eye (cornea or sclera) and enter the eye. These objects are usually travelling at high speed and are commonly made of metal.

Superficial foreign bodies tend to be very uncomfortable. The foreign body may be stuck on to the cornea or the conjunctiva, causing a red, watery and gritty eye. 

The foreign material may have become stuck under the upper lid, such that every time the eye blinks the pain increases. Penetrating eye injuries, although they are much more serious injuries, paradoxically are often much less painful. The vision may be reduced, but this is not always the case.

Foreign bodies in the eye need to be removed. Thus speak to your eye specialist as soon as possible.

Corneal ulcer:

A corneal ulcer is an open sore or epithelial defect with underlying inflammation on the cornea, the clear structure in the front of the eye. There are a wide variety of causes of corneal ulcers, including infection, physical and chemical trauma, corneal drying and exposure, and contact lens overwear and misuse.

Corneal ulcers are a serious problem and may result in loss of vision or blindnessWith appropriate and timely treatment, the majority of corneal ulcers will improve with minimal adverse effect on vision.

A corneal ulcer will often appear as a gray to white opaque or translucent area on the normally clear and transparent cornea. Some corneal ulcers may be too small to see without adequate magnification and illumination. If you develop a corneal ulcer, you should be examined promptly by an ophthalmologist. Treatment will most often include intensive topical antibiotic drops.