Joey Lawrence gets a “paper cut” on his cornea

Actor Joey Lawrence apparently got an eyeful Wednesday while rehearsing with Melissa Joan Hart for their ABC Family show, Melissa and Joey. While leaning over to hug Hart, Lawrence got poked in the eye with the script, “ripping” his cornea. He sent out this tweet on Thursday:

“Hey my tweet peeps. Sorry for being AWOL. I got hit in the eye yesterday mrng by accident in the set and it ripped my cornea. Trying to heal,” Joey tweeted Thursday. “So I can do the show tmrw and be ok! Love you all and I’ll be in touch very soon xoxo.”

Later, he tweeted : “Thank you for all your well wishes my tweeters! I’m in some pain right now but trying to heal quickly… Luv u all ” along with this picture.

The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye.

Because the cornea is as smooth and clear as glass but is strong and durable, it helps the eye in two ways:

  1. It helps to shield the rest of the eye from germs, dust, and other harmful matter. The cornea shares this protective task with the eyelids, the eye socket, tears, and the sclera, or white part of the eye.
  2. The cornea acts as the eye’s outermost lens. It functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye. The cornea contributes between 65-75 percent of the eye’s total focusing power.

Corneal abrasions are the most common eye injuries and especially prevalent among people who wear contact lenses. Corneal abrasions may be caused by:

  • Something getting into the eye (such as sand or dust)
  • Being poked in the eye
  • Overuse of contact lenses or lenses that don’t fit correctly
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation

Corneal abrasions are frequently difficult to see with the naked eye, however, by putting a small amount of a dye called fluoroscein into the eye, and shining a blue light at it, corneal abrasions can be easily seen.

Symptoms of a corneal abrasion include:

  • Abnormal sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Feeling like something is in your eye
  • Redness of the eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Treatment for corneal injuries may involve:

    • Removing any foreign material from the eye
    • Eye patch
    • Antibiotic drops or ointments

    Injuries that affect only the surface of the cornea normally heal very rapidly with treatment, and the eye should be back to normal within 2 days.

    Sources: Medline Plus, National Eye Institute

    Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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