Corneal Abrasion

    • CE credits 2 hours
    • COPE code 74282-AS / 122563
    • Available until Sep 21, 2024


Learning Objectives

  • To review anatomy and principles 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


A young male presents left eye pain, redness, and photophobia after being scratched 6 hours ago. Visual acuity in the eye is 20/40; fluorescein staining highlights an area of abrasion on the central cornea:


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 time


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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