Corneal Erosion

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  • usually after trauma (injury with fingernail, object)
  • can also occur spontaneously, e.g. in map-dot fingerprint, recurrent erosions after previous trauma


  • Epithelial defect, stains with fluorescein, no infiltrate
  • Trauma: laceration/perforation? Anterior chamber cells?
  • Evert the upper lid to rule out any subtarsal foreign body


  • Consider prophylactic antibiotic treatment
    • e.g. Tobrex gtt (Tobramycin) 4x daily or Floxal gtt (Ofloxacin) 4x daily (alternatively ointment)
    • in case of injury with organic material (branch, plant, fingernail etc.): Floxal gtt 4x daily
    • consider additional lubrication (drops, vitamin A ointment at night)
    • consider cycloplegic drops (e.g. Scopolamine 0.25% 1-3x daily)
    • in case of large erosions: consider Floxal ointment and bandage or bandage contact lens + Floxal gtt 3x/d
    • in case of loose epithelium: debridement with a hockey knife


  • Depending on findings:
    • small epithelial defects: further appointments may not be needed
    • large epithelial defects: the next day: re-epithelialisation tendency? Then until epithelial closure
  • Contact lens wearers should wait at least 7-10 days after epithelial closure to insert a new contact lens

Important Differential Diagnosis

Recurrent Erosions


  • EyeWiki Corneal Epithelial Defect
  • The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease; Nika Bagheri MD, Brynn Wajda MD, et al; Lippincott Williams&Wilki; 7. Edition (2016)
  • Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach; Jack J. Kanski MD, Brad Bowling MD; Saunders Ltd.; 8. Edition(2015)