How long does it take for a corneal abrasion to heal?
If you are unlucky and have suffered a corneal abrasion, let me reassure you that it will heal rapidly. The healing time of such an injury depends entirely on the size of the abrasion and its depth. Most corneal abrasions will be healed within 24 hours, though some may take two to three days. If the corneal abrasion is very large and involves more than half of the surface of the cornea, it could even take four to five days.
During that time, the epithelium may try to grow back in a somewhat irregular fashion. If it does, your ophthalmologist will, unfortunately, have to remove some of the irregular epithelium so that its growth can start again. This is to ensure that the epithelium grows back smoothly across the surface of the eye. Only occasionally will the ophthalmologist put a bandage contact lens over your eye, which will help your corneal abrasion to heal painlessly beneath the contact lens.
A small number of patients who have suffered a traumatic corneal abrasion that has been bad enough for them to see an urgent care ophthalmologist get symptoms of recurrent corneal erosion (RCE), which is also called recurrent erosion syndrome (RES). This syndrome can persist for up to three months after the injury, so the patient may need to see their ophthalmologist again for treatment.
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