To the Editor.
—We were pleased to see a recent Questions and Answers1 address the issue of whether there is any evidence for a beneficial effect of patching the eye after a superficial corneal abrasion. In contrast to the answer provided, there is little support in the medical literature for routine use of an eye patch.In the discussion, the consultant addresses healing rates and pain, two patient-oriented outcomes of importance. While the consultant correctly stated that there is "no definite evidence that patching an eye with a corneal abrasion results in faster healing," he relied on anecdote rather than the clinical literature when concluding that use of an eye patch reduces pain.At least two randomized controlled trials have been published that refute the common clinical impression that eye patches reduce pain. Hulbert studied eye patch use in 30 patients, finding that an eye patch conferred no benefit
Slawson DC. Treatment of Corneal Abrasions. JAMA. 1996;275(11):837. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530350019019