If you require emergency medical attention, please call 911 to access your local emergency services.

Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Corneal Injuries

Injuries of the cornea can happen anywhere, but they most commonly occur when people operate machinery, handle chemicals or participate in sports without proper eye protection.

Your risk of developing a corneal injury is increased if you:

  • Spend a lot of time outdoors without eye protection from UV rays
  • Suffer from dry eye
  • Wear poorly fitted contact lenses
  • Work in a dusty environment

Corneal ulcers (open sores) develop over time due to a number of causes, including:

  • Bacterial, viral and fungal infections
  • Scrapes, scratches or burns
  • Severe allergies that cause eyes to become inflamed
  • Poor contact lens hygiene and habits
  • Underlying conditions, such as dry eye, Bell palsy, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis

Diagnosing corneal injuries

To determine the extent of a corneal injury, your physician may use:

  • Visual acuity test: This common eye chart test measures vision ability at various distances using a series of lenses.
  • Seidel test: This test uses a special dye to identify irregularities of the corneal surface.
  • Tonometry: This standard test determines the intraocular pressure (IOP) inside the eye.