The eye is made up of various layers that surround and keep in place the fluid within the eyeball and various elements serve to protect the intricate cells that detect and transmit light and images to the brain for processing.  No other problem causes more aggravation and irritation to the patient than an injury to the cornea. 
The cornea is the outermost covering of the eye and serves multiple functions.  It serves as a shield from dust, bacteria and any other harmful debris in the air.  The duty to protect the delicate structures is shared with the bony infrastructure of the eye socket, tears to wash away potential harmful particles, eyelids, and the sclera or white part of the eye.   The cornea is involved in controlling the focus of 65-75% of incoming light and also filters out certain harmful wavelengths of ultra violet light that would otherwise damage the lens and the retina.
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the cornea, the clear center outer covering of the eye. It is often caused by a foreign body in the eye and is a very common injury to people who are outdoors or work without eye protection.  Given the amount of nerves and sensation required for eyesight the offending agent maybe something we would otherwise consider insignificant.  Hikers may experience a corneal abrasion when a small piece of wood, dirt, sand, wood or leaf blows in their eye.  A factory worker or a handyman repairing a home may get a piece of paint, metal, or glass blown in the eye by a machine.  Regardless of what or how the foreign object gets there it may wedge between the cornea and the eye lid scratching and damaging the area with each blink of the eye.
The natural cleaning system of the eye will invariably take effect and the tears may or may not remove the debris but the abrasion is already there.  When your doctor examines you there maybe need for a detailed eye exam.  A numbing drop maybe used to make the exam easier to tolerate.  Fluorescein drops could then be used to enable the abrasion and or the debris to be seen.  The fluorescein drops are used in combination with a blue light that make the drops "glow in the dark", accentuating any potential problem areas.
Once the area is examined and the debris taken care of your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medication to prevent infection and inflammation in the eye.  The injured eye will be patched; therefore you will only have vision in one (1) eye. Your depth perception will be altered and you will not be able to judge distances or space relationships. You should avoid driving and operating any machinery that could pose a danger if not used properly.
There are many other causes of corneal abrasions.  Conditions such as infections and trauma may cause eye injuries while exposure to ultra violet light such as tanning beds or weld arcs without eye protection can cause burns resembling corneal abrasions.  Foreign body in the eye, though, is the most common eye injury, and with treatment, the eye will usually heal within 24-48 hours.
Even though you will be able to use the uninjured eye, it is recommended that you rest and not read, do work up close, or watch television because the injured eye will try to move and “keep up” with the uninjured eye.  
John Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA  30096