Are you looking for information on how to repair your cornea? Minor corneal abrasions and inflammation such as keratitis can be relatively common. However, it is important to see your eye doctor to assess any damage and get advice on the best method of treatment. If left untreated, abrasions and infections can lead to permanent damage.
Here, we’ll go over a few things you should know about your cornea. We’ll also take a look at a few general do’s and don’ts when it comes to at-home eye care.
Remember though, this guide does not constitute medical advice. Specific concerns and questions should always be addressed by a qualified and experienced eye specialist.
What you should know about the cornea
Your cornea is the dome-shaped surface on the outside of your eyeball. It is made up of clear tissue and membranes that have a couple of important functions:
- The cornea is a barrier: The membranes of your cornea help protect your eyes from dust, debris, bacteria, and germs.
- The cornea provides focus: Your cornea focuses the way light enters into your eye and refracts onto your lens and pupil. It needs to be healthy for you to have clear vision.
If you need to repair your cornea due to injury, accident, or disease, your eye doctor may recommend different treatment options. These will depend on how the damage has been caused and may include eye drops, antibiotic ointments, steroids to reduce inflammation, and/or pain relief.
There are other diseases and conditions that can affect the health of your cornea. These include allergies, dry eye, corneal dystrophies, Herpes Zoster and Ocular Herpes, Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome, Pterygium, and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Treatments to repair your cornea may also include surgical options.
If surgery is needed, your eye specialist will talk you through the procedure thoroughly.
Take good care of your cornea
It is important to care of your cornea – any damage caused by injury, illness or disease can result in pain, discomfort, and loss of vision. Minor abrasions are usually quick to heal. Deeper scratches can cause permanent scarring and infections which can affect your long-term eyesight and ultimately require surgery to repair your cornea. Signs and symptoms indicating that you may have a damaged cornea include:
- A gritty feeling
- Sensitivity to light
- A headache
It’s important to note that some of these signs and symptoms may indicate other eye conditions too.
There are some preventative measures you can do, and steps you can take to help repair your cornea in certain situations. Your eye specialist will help you by letting you know which of these you should pay attention to.
These preventative measure and steps include:
- Do wear good quality sunglasses when you are out in the sun as a preventative measure. Exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun can damage your eyes.
- Do wear protective glasses if you are working in a dusty or dirty environment. Especially if you work around wood shavings, welding or fine metals.
- Do rinse or flush your eye with clean water or a saline solution if you do get dust or debris in your eyes. This can help remove any foreign objects and particles.
- Do blink your eye to remove small particles. Blinking several times may help shift small items out into the corners of your eye area.
- Do wear dark glasses until you see a doctor for a medical examination. Wearing dark glasses helps reduce any additional strain on your cornea if it has suffered from trauma or an infection.
There are a few “don’ts” in the steps you can take to repair your cornea in the event it is damaged. These include:
- Don’t rub your eye after an injury or it is showing signs of a corneal infection. Rubbing your eye can spread pathogens or result in further damage due to lodging foreign objects deeper into the tissue.
- Don’t use cotton buds, cotton swabs, tweezers, or any other type of apparatus to attempt to remove any objects in your eyes. You run the risk of causing more damage from the tool. Always see your eye doctor or visit an emergency department for the removal of objects in your eyes.
- Don’t put any liquid substances other than clean water or saline into your eyes, unless it has been prescribed by a medical professional. Oils or other liquids you may have at home should never be used to try to clean or flush your eyes as they can cause more irritation.
- Don’t wear contact lenses if you have symptoms of an eye infection or abrasion. Wait for your cornea to heal before using contact lenses again. Your eye doctor will advise when it is safe to use your contact lenses again.
- Don’t apply cosmetics around your eye area while you have a damaged cornea. The chemicals in cosmetics may irritate your eyes, and the application of makeup may put unnecessary pressure on this sensitive part of your eye.
- Don’t wait too long to seek medical attention. Corneal infections can set in fairly quickly, so it is important to get medical advice and treatment as soon as possible.
Consult your doctor to repair your cornea
There are many things you can do to help repair your cornea in the event of an injury or infection. Most of all, take care of your eyes as much as possible to prevent any accidental damage or infection. Always consult with a medical professional as soon as possible if you are concerned about an eye abrasion or infection.
Please feel free to contact us at The New Jersey Eye Center, in Bergenfield, NJ if you have any further questions about your eyes or your eye health. Keeping up with regular eye check-ups is the best way to make sure your eyes are in the best possible condition. You can also book a check-up in straight away our online application form.
You might not be able to repair your cornea completely at home, but these do’s and don’ts will certainly help.