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Eye scratched several months ago- now reirritates / shows symptoms regu...
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Eye scratched several months ago- now reirritates / shows symptoms regularly

I am an athlete involved in boxing, so I get punched in the face alot... a few months ago, a fight resulted in me having a scratched eyeball. I went to the urgent care center two days later and they incorrectly diagnosed me with pink eye (from knowing the symptoms and knowing what caused the injury, I'm sure it was a scratch, not pink eye). I was given antibiotic drops which I used for a week and my eye got better.

A month or so later I took a very light hit to the eye that should not have really affected me much, but it seemed as though my eye got "re-scratched" or it opened up the old scratch again--- as I was showing the same symptoms from before (extreme pain, feels like something is constantly in my eye, constant watering, sensitivity to light). This time I just used the left-over drops from the last time for several days until my eye was better again.

Now it has been several months since then. Probably once every other week or so, it seems that something small happens that easily irritates my eye and brings back those same symptoms, only they are not as bad. For instance, if I rub my eye the wrong way, or the other day a little bit of beer splashed me in the eye. The period of irritation after such an instance won't last long... maybe an hour or less but it is really annoying.

Since this has happened, I have kept myself out of the sparring aspect of boxing, which resulted in me getting punched in the face alot because I want to make sure my eye is better before I get back into it. I am very worried that it will not take much to make my eye scratched like it was originally since it seems to be irritating so easily. But... I am anxious to start sparring again as soon as I am ready for it.

So my question is--- does anyone know why it seems as though my eye gets re-injured or irritated so easily even though it has been months since I originally injured my eye.
And-- do you know how long I should wait before I get back in the ring?

Thanks alot!
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This sounds a lot like a recurrent corneal erosion.  See an ophthalmologist to see if that is the case.  A good time to go is when you are experiencing the symptoms - usually first thing in the morning.  Sometimes frequent lubricating drops in the day and lubricating ointment at night can be helpful.  Corneal scraping or anterior stromal puncture procedures can help make the corneal epithelial cells stick down better and reduce recurrence of the erosion.  You might be someone who needs to have one of the procedures above to get the problem to settle down.  See an ophthalmologist who is a conrneal specialist and this should be a fairly straightforward problem to address.

Michael Kutryb, MD
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