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A conjunctival and corneal tear is defined as damage or scratch caused on the delicate surface of the conjunctiva (a thin mucous membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelid) and cornea (transparent, protective tissue covering the white part of the eye). Your doctor will consider the best treatment options depending on your condition.

Antibiotics and Analgesics

If you experience any symptoms of conjunctival and corneal tears such as pain and redness in the eye, blurred vision, watery eyes, swelling or a feeling of discomfort and burning, the ophthalmologist may initially prescribe antibiotic ointments and some analgesics for seven days. If a severe corneal infection (keratitis) is present and you experience prolonged complications, then the doctor may recommend surgery as the next treatment option.

Surgery

Surgery is considered very crucial to prevent further damage to the eye. This procedure involves the removal of any foreign particle from the eye and repair of the cornea. Contact lenses may be fitted for visual rehabilitation after a corneal tear repair. You may be advised to continue the application of topical antibiotics for a few weeks after surgery.

Transplantation

If the cornea becomes cloudy and light cannot penetrate to reach the retina, you may experience poor vision or even blindness. At this stage of severity, the doctors may recommend a corneal transplant. A corneal transplant involves replacing a diseased or damaged cornea with a new one. The surgeon removes the cloudy cornea and replaces it with a new one (donated by an eye bank). The new cornea is sutured thoroughly in place and you will be advised to use eye drops (for a few months) until the wound heals completely.

An alternative treatment to transplantation is Photo-therapeutic keratectomy (PTK). This is laser surgery to vaporize the damaged corneal tissue layer and irregularities on the corneal surface, enabling new tissue growth to occur.

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