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South Med J. 1996 Feb;89(2):227-9.

Eye patch treatment for the pain of corneal abrasion.

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  • 1Emergency Medicine Residency of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA.


The traditional use of patching and topical antibiotics in the treatment of corneal abrasion has recently been challenged, particularly after foreign body removal. In a prospective, controlled, randomized study of 33 patients treated in the emergency department for eye pain and corneal abrasion, we attempted to determine whether eye patching affected the pain of simple corneal abrasions. After fluorescein examination with magnification (x 5), a visual analog pain score was recorded and the patient was randomized to either the patched or nonpatched group. A standard analgesic was supplied, and all patients had follow-up at 24 hours, when repeat pain scores and analgesic use were recorded. The groups were compared by using the Wilcoxon's rank sum test, Student's t test, and analysis of covariance as required. There was no significant difference in the mean changes in pain scores between the patched and nonpatched groups. Analgesic use was also similar. We conclude that routine eye patching does not favorably affect the pain associated with the treatment of simple corneal abrasion.

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