Corneal injury is a wound to the part of the eye known as the cornea. The cornea is the crystal clear (transparent) tissue that covers the front of the eye. It works with the lens of the eye to focus images on the retina.
Injuries to the cornea are common.
Injuries to the outer surface may be due to:
- Abrasions: Includes scratches or scrapes on the surface of the cornea
- Chemical injuries: Caused by almost any fluid that gets into the eye
- Contact lens problems: Overuse, poor fit, or sensitivity to contact lens care solutions
- Foreign bodies: Exposure to something in the eye such as sand or dust
- Ultraviolet injuries: Caused by sunlight, sun lamps, snow or water reflections, or arc-welding
Infections may also damage the cornea.
You are more likely to develop a corneal injury if you:
- Are exposed to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light for long periods of time
- Have ill-fitting contact lenses or overuse your contact lenses
- Have very dry eyes
- Work in a dusty environment
High-speed particles, such as chips from hammering metal on metal, may get stuck in the surface of the cornea. Rarely, they may penetrate deeper into the eye.