Corneal abrasions

Last reviewed: 10 Jul 2022
Last updated: 07 Jan 2021

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • eye pain
  • tearing
  • photophobia
  • blurred vision
  • ciliary flush
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • presence of foreign body
  • corneal opacity
  • rust ring
  • blepharospasm
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • eye trauma
  • foreign body in the eye
  • contact lens use
  • working in the automotive industry
  • lack of protective eyewear
  • prior corneal abrasion
  • deployment of airbag during motor vehicle collision
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • visual acuity
  • fluorescein staining
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • CT scan of orbits
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

acute corneal abrasion

ONGOING

recurrent corneal abrasions or poor healing

Contributors

Authors

Christopher McStay, MD
Christopher McStay

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Aurora

CO

Disclosures

CM declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Christopher Tedeschi, MD

Instructor in Clinical Medicine

Emergency Medicine Department

New York Presbyterian Hospital

Columbia University Medical Center

New York

NY

Disclosures

CT declares that he has no competing interests.

Rasik Vajpayee, MD

Chair of Ophthalmology

Corneal and Cataract Surgery

University of Melbourne

Melbourne

Australia

Disclosures

RV declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Corneal abrasions images
  • Differentials

    • Conjunctivitis
    • Corneal laceration with globe perforation
    • Corneal ulceration and ulcerative keratitis
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Corneal abrasion
    • Corneal (or other superficial ocular) foreign body
    More Guidelines
  • padlock-lockedLog in or subscribe to access all of BMJ Best Practice

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer