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Corneal abrasions and corneal foreign bodies: Management

Deborah S Jacobs, MD
Section Editors
Jonathan Trobe, MD
Richard G Bachur, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


Corneal abrasions are common eye injuries that frequently result from eye trauma, retained foreign bodies, and improper contact lens use. Patients typically present with severe eye pain, photophobia, and a foreign body sensation. Key aspects of clinical evaluation include exclusion of an open globe and hyphema, measurement of visual acuity, 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 small abrasions heal fully within 24 hours.

This topic will review the management of corneal abrasions. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of corneal abrasions, the evaluation of the red eye, and the assessment and management of other ocular injuries are discussed separately:

(See "Corneal abrasions and corneal foreign bodies: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)

(See "Evaluation of the red eye".)

(See "Open globe injuries: Emergent evaluation and initial management".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 21, 2015.
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