Methodology: 3/5
Usefulness: 3.5/5

Yu CW, et al. Acad Emerg Med. 2021 Aug;28(8):890-908. doi: 10.1111/acem.14222.

Questions and Methods: The authors sought to determine if the 6 common pain therapies for corneal abrasions decrease healing time, pain and if they have complications. They did a systematic review of 33 included studies searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and web of science.  
Findings: Topical NSAIDs reduced pain scores and oral analgesia use at 24 and 48 hours. Otherwise, there was no significant changes in pain reduction, healing time and complications with topical anesthetics, cycloplegics, patching and bandage contact lens.  
Limitations: Based on available data topical anesthetics, cycloplegics, patching and BCL do not reduce pain score or use of analgesia. Larger studies are needed to determine the complications of each therapy.  

Interpretation: No topical pain therapies significantly improve clinically relevant outcomes for corneal abrasions. 

By: Dr. Pascale King



  • Pascale King

    Dr. Pascale King is an Emergency Medicine resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa. She is a junior editor with the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination team for the EMOttawaBlog.

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  • Hans Rosenberg

    Dr. Rosenberg is an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital, associate professor at the University of Ottawa, and Director of the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination Program.

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