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Medical Corneal abrasion and photosensitivity to meds

  1. Sep 20, 2010 #1
    I scratched my cornea Saturday playing vollyball. Woke up Sunday feeling like grit in my eye. It was totally red. Saw the doc, who used flourescent dye, slit lamp, and very thorough examination to diagnose corneal abrasion. He prescribed Ofloxacin opthalmic solution, 0.3%.

    A few hours later I'm very photosensitive! I've turned my monitor down to min brightness, but it still hurts to look at the screen without squinting. My pupils are not dialated. In fact, they're like pinpoints, even in dim light.

    According to the Mayo Clinic:

    "This medicine may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort."

    Boy, oh boy! Do they ever!!!

    As an interesting aside, I thought it might help my night vision, but nada. It just seems to be affecting my photosensitivity to normal light.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2010 #2


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    How long are you supposed to use the eye drops?
  4. Sep 20, 2010 #3
    Damn, did your doc warn you about this, because he really should have, and sent you off with a fun pair of giant brown or yellow sunglasses (you know the ones I'm talking about). I strongly recommend avoiding any situation where you feel that sensitivity... just slap on some of those sunglasses I mentioned, which you can probably get at your local drugstore... and... ah hell... I'm sorry this happened mug. I've scratched my cornea and for such a small thing it can be maddening. I hope it heals rapidly, and you can tackle the photosensitivity. Oh... and um... your night vision may actually be WORSE as a result of these drops... not just unchanged, and when driving be careful when you get a facefull of headlights.
  5. Sep 20, 2010 #4


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    Good advice, it will take your eyes longer than the normal "7" to reestablish night-vision when you're using these drops.

    On the upside, not much in the body heals faster than eyes--So you should be back to normal in no time!
  6. Sep 20, 2010 #5
    I'm not sure. The ER doc handed it to me directly. I checked the paperwork, but it's not on there. The Mayo Clinic says six days, so I'll go with that.



    Thank, nismaratwork - I appreciate your concerns! And yeah, it's maddening, all right, though it's better today than it was yesterday. My monitor's up to 16 on its brightness. :)

    I hear you there! Just after I awoke today, I beat feet for some more stuff at Walmart, then troglogyted myself before putting in more drops.

    My eye does hurt a lot less. The "stuff" I beat feet for this morning was a bottle of saline, which I used to flush both eyes thoroughly. I'm pretty sure I was able to flush the abrasive particle the doc missed yesterday, as it's no longer feeling like I have sand in my eye. I'll skip the gory "flipping one's eyelids like we used to do to scare mom" details, Lol!

    Except for that ^^^, of course. :)

    Interestingly, I don't seem to be nearly as light-sensitive today as I was yesterday. Many systems in our body adjust to things which upset their balence. I'm wondering if this might be one of them?
  7. Sep 25, 2010 #6
    How's the eye now mate?
  8. Sep 25, 2010 #7
    yeah, 'inquiring minds want to know'! :wink: Have you told your doctor where to stick it for not warning you about photosensitivity? Better yet, a little Methylene blue in his coffee... :devil:
  9. Sep 25, 2010 #8
    Much better, thanks! The photosensitivity more or less wore off around Wednesday, so I'm not sure if it was due to the medicine or the injury. I can still feel that it's not 100%, but it's at least 85% and getting better daily.

    Great St. Patty's day trick, though, lol, with my luck he'd be on an SSRI and it'd kill him. (MB is an MAO)

    Thanks for asking, guys!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  10. Sep 25, 2010 #9
    Heh... yeah, it was an innocent time for me when I first took chem-class. Hell, my grandfather did the same trick... with PRUSSIAN BLUE!!! Yeeks!
  11. Sep 25, 2010 #10
    A corneal abrasion is bad enough, but at least it's only temporary.
    Be glad you do not have a corneal erosion, which feels the same, but for ever.
  12. Sep 26, 2010 #11
    Yes, but what a lovely color! Not when combined with urine, though...

    Oooh! I looked this up, as the doc mentioned a slight (5%) possibility of this. As this has been profuse with "watery tears," I noticed the "management of episodes" entry as especially relevant:

    "With the eye generally profusely watering, the type of tears being produced have little adhesive property. Water or saline eye drops tend therefore to be ineffective. Rather a 'better quality' of tear is required with higher 'wetting ability' (ie greater amount of glycoproteins) and so artificial tears (eg viscotears) are applied frequently."

    Further thoughts? Should I jump on this now? Wait and see?

    I don't know how long it takes the average eye to heal from moderate corneal abrasion. I've done all the right things (meds, drops, lubricants), and I'm 90% of what I was since the incident occurred 1 week ago, but I can still feel residual affects.

  13. Sep 26, 2010 #12
    I am not a doctor, however, take comfort from your original statement:

    You can trace your problem to an external event.

    Corneal erosions are systemic, which is why they reccur.

    Like any trauma, the effects of an abrasion will last longer than the actual repair and will tail off grasually. The tailing off time will obviously depend upon the severity of the initial event.

    But it sounds like you got onto it quickly and are recovering well.

    God speed.
  14. Sep 26, 2010 #13
    Like so many matters of healing, that last 10%, then 5%, then 1% takes progressively more time than the first large portion. I would say that within a few days to a week you'll be within spitting distance of 100%, but you COULD feel some residual effects for up to a month at the outset... nothing that will really bother you however. The bottom line is that you HAVE come this far, which is a very good thing, believe me, and is as close to a guarantee of total recovery within a reasonable time as you can get in life.

    That was a doctor's version of what Studiot said... note that the content is essentially identical? *sigh* Really it makes a man thrilled to have bothered with med school. :wink:

    Studiot: You have a keen grasp of the healing process of soft-tissue trauma, may I ask how you came by that? It's quite accurate you know...

    Oh, and Prussian Blue has the downside of being possibly carcinogenic... so, we don't do THAT prank anymore! Oh grandpa... :blushing:
  15. Sep 26, 2010 #14
    Personal experience for myself and those close to me, gained over a lifetime.

  16. Sep 26, 2010 #15
    Ahhh, "the hard way", always a joyous experience.
  17. Oct 5, 2010 #16
    I'm 100% back to normal, folks! Saw the doc this morning, and they dye and slit-lamp revealed...


    No light sensitivity, either. In fact, I just spent the last four days river rafting on the Gunnison through Escalante and Dominguez canyons! Yucky water, buggy campsites, but great food and company! (with the exception of one... There's always one...)
  18. Oct 5, 2010 #17


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    Congrats :smile: Its always a good moral booster to do something fun and active when you get back to healthy!
  19. Oct 5, 2010 #18
    Way to go!
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