Donate to Corneal Injuries Research, Patient Care and Education

An estimated 2.4 million suffer from varying degrees of corneal injuries each year in the United States. The overwhelming majority of these injuries to the cornea can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. The cornea is a transparent layer that serves as a barrier to protect the eye from dust, dirt, debris and germs. Corneal injuries and abrasions can be caused by a foreign object hitting the eye, sports injuries, poorly maintained contact lenses, excessive rubbing of the eyes as well as certain eye conditions including trachoma or effects of general anesthesia. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will help specialists at Northwestern Medicine to further advance research and clinical trials aimed at developing new diagnostic and treatment methods for corneal injuries.

Injuries to the cornea can result in the following symptoms:

  • Light sensitivity and blurred or loss of vision
  • Swelling (Edema)
  • Discomfort opening or closing the eyes
  • Tearing and redness
  • The sensation of a foreign object in the eye
  • Headaches

Minor injuries to the cornea, such as scratches or small abrasions, can heal on their own or may be treated with antibiotic salves, ointments or drops to ward off infections during the healing process. More serious injuries should be treated as an emergency and evaluation by an ophthalmologist or emergency room physician immediately. Board-certified physicians at Northwestern Medicine are able to accurately diagnose the severity of corneal injuries by performing visual acuity tests and seidel tests, and by using tonometry to gauge eye pressure.

The severity of the injury determines the plan of treatment. A simply flushing out of the eye with distilled water to remove any foreign objects may be the first step. Eye drops or ointments to ward off infection and aid in the healing process are often prescribed. Often, an eye patch will lessen symptoms as the cornea is healing. Contact lenses should not be worn until the cornea is fully healed.

Corneal Injuries Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Please consider making a gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to lend vital support to Northwestern Medicine’s physician-scientists who are actively working to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of corneal injuries. Your generosity will make a difference in many lives.

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