March 20, 1996

Treatment of Corneal Abrasions

Author Affiliations

North Oakland Medical Centers Pontiac, Mich

JAMA. 1996;275(11):837. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530350019018

To the Editor.  —As I read the answer by Dr Jampel1 in Questions and Answers, I was struck by a statement made regarding the treatment of corneal abrasions. Jampel suggested that a physician may use a cycloplegic agent such as 5% homatropine hydrobromide. I take issue with this statement as a nonuniversity ophthalmologist. I frequently see patients with dilated pupils who have had optic homatropine or atropine instilled at the emergency department. Use of such cycloplegics, which have effects that can last from 3 to 14 days, can be devastating to the individual both economically and psychologically. Patients might not have been told what was done or how long the effects will last. Such incidences may occur inadvertently since all mydriatics come in red-topped containers and may be confused. I have found that spending time instructing patients of what to expect and that they may be uncomfortable for 24