While on the dance floor at Cynthia’s wedding, I decided to stick a cocktail straw directly into my open eye, just for fun. No, actually someone accidentally whacked my elbow when I was raising my arm to wave at a friend, but no matter. I thought I’d mention it here, because…well, it’s good to know what to do in the event that this happens, and now I’ve done the frantic middle-of-the-night Googling for you.
A corneal abrasion (basically a scratch on your eyeball – yuck) is characterized by: 1) pain, obviously; 2) the sense that there is some foreign matter in your eye; 3) light sensitivity; 4) excessive tearing; and 5) blurred vision. Basically, it feels WAY worse than it actually is. Right after I poked my eye I was in quite a lot of pain, but then I made it much, much worse a couple of hours later by rubbing at it because I thought something was still in it (see point 2, above). I ended up waking up in the middle of the night in a total panic because I couldn’t open either of my eyes (it hurt the scratched eye to open the non-scratched one). We were all ready to head to the Bear Mountain ER, but Kendrick did a little Interneting, and we realized that based on the appearance of my eye and my symptoms, it was likely a superficial abrasion. In other words, the doctor was probably going to charge me a co-pay and send me home with some eyedrops. I went back to sleep, and woke up a few hours later still in pain, but clearly on the mend.
So. If this happens to you, know it may not as big of a deal as it seems: I was mostly better by the next afternoon, and all better by this morning (albeit with a little residual blurriness). Find a good pair of sunglasses (light will hurt), and do not rub your eyes, or wear your contacts until you’re all better.
As always, seek medical assistance if you’re at all worried. A doctor can use dye to determine the extent of the abrasion, can make sure there are no particles in your eye, and can give you pain-reducing eyedrops and antibiotics in the case of a severe injury.
(No image accompanying this post because I wasn’t in a photo-taking mood – pain and all – and because…well, trust me on this one and DO NOT Google images for “corneal abrasions.” OH MY GOD.)