Corneal abrasions and corneal foreign bodies: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis
- Deborah S Jacobs, MD
Deborah S Jacobs, MD
- Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
- Harvard Medical School
- Section Editors
- Jonathan Trobe, MD
Jonathan Trobe, MD
- Section Editor — Ophthalmology
- Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- Professor of Neurology
- University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center
- Richard G Bachur, MD
Richard G Bachur, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Trauma
- Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Deputy Editor
- James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
- Senior Deputy Editor — UpToDate
- Deputy Editor — Adult and Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Deputy Editor — Primary Care Sports Medicine (Adolescents and Adults)
- Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Corneal abrasions are common eye injuries that frequently result from eye trauma, foreign bodies, and improper contact lens use. Patients typically present with severe eye pain and a foreign body sensation. Key aspects of clinical evaluation include exclusion of an open globe and hyphema, measurement of visual acuity, penlight and fluorescein examination, and lid eversion to assess for a conjunctival foreign body. Treatment of small, uncomplicated corneal abrasions consists of topical antibiotic therapy and either topical or oral pain medication. Most abrasions heal fully within 24 hours.
This topic will review the etiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of corneal abrasions. The management of corneal abrasions, the general approach to a patient with red eye, and the assessment and management of other ocular injuries are discussed separately:
●(See "Evaluation of the red eye".)
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- CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS
- Eye examination
- - Preparation and analgesia
- - Excluding penetrating trauma
- - Visual acuity
- - Penlight examination
- - Extraocular movements
- - Funduscopic examination
- - Fluorescein examination
- Eyelid eversion
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- INDICATIONS FOR SUBSPECIALTY CONSULTATION OR REFERRAL
- PEDIATRIC CONSIDERATIONS
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS