Recurrent Corneal Abrasions

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For the last week I've been having this issue where my left eye would be in pain when I wake up and then it'd be fine for a couple minutes and then it would hurt again. The time period between pain periods would increase throughout the rest of the day. I had this occur to me in the summer and my eye doctor said I had recurrent corneal abrasions and she prescribed me vigamox which is just an antibiotic. Things did get better thankfully, but now I'm having the same issues. I also can't access that doctor again due to a change of insurance/lack of money and I've started a new job so I can't go to a doctor's at my current insurance during regular business hours. Is there anything to ease the pain/make it better?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Sounds like you might have dry eye that happens because you sleep with your eyes open. I guess treat it as dry eye. Lots of info on google. Xx
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    • Posted

      I always sleep with a sleep mask on though, and whenever these episodes begin to occur, it's because I would wake up in the middle of the night with my eyes in pain, and then it would carry on for the rest of the day and the days after.

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  • Posted

    Could you possibly have some eyelashs that have turned inward causing the scratchs?
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    • Posted

      I don't think so. When I had an exam by my eye doctor a couple months ago, she didn't see any of that, and I'm feeling the same symptoms as during that time.

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  • Posted

    Go to the pharmacy and buy lacrilube or hyloforte - I have recurrent corneal abrasions too and have suffered since last April. I use lubrictating drops every hour during the day and then use lacrilube (a paraffine / vaseline consistency product) - there is a cheaper own brand pharmacy equivalent for both of these. These do not relieve the pain but do lubricate. I would not leave it - go to A and E and get seen if necessary. Acular drops are what my GP prescribed for the pain but if you can't go to the GP then take some regular paracetemol. I was advised by my specialist though that normal painkillers don't tend to touch eye pain because it doesn't have a blood supply to the cornea,

    If you can massage your eyelids gently before waking and pop in some drops before you open them too. I sometimes wake in the night and put extra drops in to make sure my eyelid doesn't stick to the cornea.

    Other things I do is to keep my bedroom window open at night to keep the air from becoming to dry and stuffy which seems to help. 

    From the reading I've been doing since suffering from this horrible condition, increasing the amount of lipids in your diet ie omega 3 may help with tear function and eye lubrication. Hope this is of some use  - maybe cut out / down on caffiene too...

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    • Posted

      Do you also have symptoms of your eyes hurting one moment, then being free of pain, and then hurting again? Do these symptoms get better after using lacrilube/hyloforte? I'm just wondering if we have similar symptoms?

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    • Posted

      Adding to what Nicholas has said, before you massage your eyes, use a hot face cloth on your eyes, this will help to unblock the Meibomian glands, then massage your eyes gently.  Do this night & morning.

      If you use the lacrilube at night when you go to bed, it should help to keep your eyes moist during the night.

      Ask the Pharmacist for preservative free lubricating drops, the preservative can also make your eyes dry.

      And. as Nicholas says, generic drops are just as good as the branded ones & much less expensive.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes - my left eye is the problem eye - it can be several days without incident and then suddenly have pain. I do have a bandage contact lens in now though as well and sadly it is still happening. When they change the lens before Christmas I had excruciating pain - so much I couldn't drive back from work! They discovered have 'dry' patches on my cornea (not where the original abrasion was) so I lubricate them whenever I feel the signs ...not always possible but I do try. My experience is that Hyloforte is the best product I've tried - and I must have tried 5 or 6 since last summer for day time. Lacrilube or equivalent I only put in at night time as it blurs your vision. I also tried gently putting vaseline on my outside of my eyelid the last two nights for extra mosturisation! Thankfully no-one apart from my oh sees me at night smile

      So yes, symptoms do improve with the drops / ointment but you must put them in regularly. 

      My specialist said it takes 6-8 weeks for a corneal abrasion to heal. Everytime another small blip occurs I have to reset the clock...which I do on a weekly basis. The bandage lens provides a huge relief though and is kept it day and night for 2-3 months. It does take a bit of getting used to if like me you don't normally where them and it can be blurry but I'd rather have manageable episodes than have the intollerable ersoions every day (sometimes a few a day) that I was experiencing. Let us know how you get on but please go back and see a specialist as it could be serious and permanently harm your sight.

      Nicky

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  • Posted

    I see you have posted again with the same problems. You need to keep up the lubrication of the eyes,as if you have dry eye it will probably just keep irritating you until you get your own regime of cleaning and lubricating going each day. It sounds like a bore but as there is no cure as such, if you dont keep up the treatment then corneal abrasions will recur. Have a talk to your pharmacist if you cant afford to see a doctor. This is a common condition and they should be able to advise. Nicolas 83740 has given you lots of good advice already.      If you work in a dusty or dry atmosphere it will make the condition worse. Also keep away from air conditioning ,fans [both cooling and heating] and if you are a traveller on aircraft try to keep your eyes closed as much as possible. Wearing close fitting sunglasses or cyclists glasses can help .   
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    • Posted

      I don't think it's dry eye as I've been using lubricants on it multiple times a day for the last couple weeks and the problem persists. This morning, my eye was tearing up and hurting even before I had opened it. I also feel more pressure in the left eye (my family has a history of glaucoma arising when people get older although I'm just 22) and I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi there

      You really need to go back to an eye specialist - go to A and E and get seen by someone who will hopefully refer you - if you have to go in work hours so be it, new job or not. Any boss would understand as eyes are excruciating and you cannot afford to leave it any longer in case you risk permanent damage.

      This week my eye specialist has referred me for laser treatment as there is a 'weakness' at the adhesion bewtween 'deschet's membrane (apparently!!). I have a bandage lens in still and continue to have issues.

      Ask for a lens to be put in place and you MUST go back to the Dr. There's only so much pain and eye drops you can put in, and only so much advice we can give you on here x 

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  • Posted

    dchau,nicholas is so right with his comments. There is only so much help we can give on here.   If your family has a history of glaucoma then you should bear that in mind,but glaucoma does not normally cause any pain,or feelings of pressure...that is why it creeps up on people who dont have their eyes pressure tested and before they know it are losing their sight

    However you are quite young to have symptoms of glaucoma. Although not unknown in younger people the higher pressure is usually identified around the age of 40. If you cannot afford to see a doctor,can you afford to see an optician who can do a simple pressure test to put your mind at rest regarding glaucoma.

    Look for eyelid wipes in your pharmacy and use them daily to wipe over the inner flat part of the lid to remove any crusts that may have formed. You may not be able to see them but they can build up and scratch the eye. Use a thicker lubricant at night,and squeeze as much as possible under the upper eyelid before you close your eyes for sleep. In the morning may be the ideal time to use the lid wipes,before putting in a daytime lubricant. I have found something like Carmize 1% or Celluvisc 1% are very good.    Dont get soap in your eyes in the shower.....your eyes now need to be protected,so just run clear warm water over them keeping your eyes firmly shut.,dont swim underwater with your eyes open.

    If you spend long hours in front of a screen [is this your working day?] then this will make your problems worse if you dont keep up a strict regime of lubrication. If this is your work the you should be allowed time away from the screen at regular intervals. Just looking away and closing your eyes for a few minutes is helpful.

    If you are doing screen work all day then try to keep away from computers during the evening and dont use a screen late into the night,gaming or anything else. many people do not realise that they blink much less when looking at a screen and eyes can get very dry and irritable from this.

    Read through everyone's comments again....you really have to try and help yourself. As I said before....it can be a bore but its worth the effort in the end. Nobody on here can give you an instant cure,but they have given you lots of info,which should help you towards some relief.

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  • Posted

    Hello - I may have had exactly what you have.  Basically, it almost always happens when you awaken in the morning or in a dream (REM state) and it is NOT dry eyes.  I do not have dry eyes.  Assuming for a moment you don't have a pillow with feathers in it which if the points of the feathers stick out of the pillow then they can scratch your cornea.  Get a pillow without feathers if you have a feathered pillow.  Assuming you've done all that then often but not always this condition can be onset by an initial scratch to the cornea and then it reoccurs almost always when you awaken from sleep.  The condition is called  RCES or Recurrent Corneal Erosion Syndrome.  The cause is a failure of the top corneal cells to properly adhere or stick down.  A telling sign of RCES is it almost always happens when awakening from sleep.  Often to help prevent it from happening (avoiding it) is when you awaken, don't open your eyes so quickly and try to gently put some artificial tears between your nose and eyes and let the artificial tears gently lubricate your eyes before opening them.  However, as far as treatment is concerned, usually the first course of treatment is an over the counter ointment called Muro 128. Warming the ointment by running warm water over the tube for a few seconds is also something I liked doing. This can often cure the condition.  However, when that fails then there are other treatments but usually PRK (laser) is the best next option in my opinion which cures it 99% of the time and rarely a second treatment is needed which cures it  (yes, I'm one who had to have two treatments and I've been free of this condition for over 10 years).  Best advice I can offer you if you have RCES is to find a good ophthalmologist.

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    • Posted

      Thats very good advice Michael.   dchau....do look up the condition on this site under the 'professional reference' section. Search for "recurrent corneal erosion syndrome".   All the advice you could ever need is set out there.      Are you a smoker?  this is a major irritant to the eyes.

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