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Eye (Lond). 1998;12 ( Pt 2):278-81.

National survey of corneal abrasion treatment.

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  • 1Royal Eye Infirmary, Plymouth, UK.



To survey the different methods used in the management of corneal abrasions (including iatrongenic cases) nationally.


A questionnaire survey of all 162 ophthalmic units in the UK was carried out in 1997.


The response rate was 134 of 162 (83%). The majority of units do not have an established policy for the treatment of corneal abrasions. Topical antibiotic alone and antibiotic together with a cycloplegic are the commonest immediate treatments, whilst the most common treatment course is topical antibiotic. Padding and patient follow-up is practised some of the time by most units and all of the time by the remaining minority. Use of a soft bandage contact lens is uncommon. There is no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) between the policy-holders and non-policy-holders in their use of the various topical regimes, padding and soft bandage contact lens.


The traditional trio of topical antibiotic, cycloplegic and padding is still the mainstay of corneal abrasion treatment amongst units nation-wide. However, there is a lack of reproducible scientific evidence to support this treatment. Larger randomised trials looking at the efficacy of the different treatment options are needed.

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