A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the eye. It can happen quickly, such as when sand gets trapped under your eyelid or you poke your eye with your fingernail. Corneal abrasions hurt, even when you close your eyes, and they can make you sensitive to light.
Even though corneal abrasions are common, they still require prompt medical attention from your eye doctor. Without appropriate treatment, the scratch can become infected and develop into a corneal ulcer. Let’s go over the ways you can tell if you have a corneal abrasion and the best treatment options recommended by an ophthalmologist.
How Does a Scratched Cornea Happen?
Corneal abrasions happen on the cornea of the eye – the clear layer that covers the iris. It’s also responsible for protecting the pupil. Some of the most common ways that corneal scratches happen are by:
- Poking your eye
- Getting dirt, sand or debris in your eye
- Getting chemicals in your eye
- Rubbing your eyes too hard
- Wearing dirty contact lenses
- Overwearing your contact lenses
- Playing sports without proper eye protection
- Certain eye infections
What are the Symptoms of an Eye Scratch?
Symptoms are not always apparent right away. This can complicate matters because you might not know what caused your eye to start hurting. Here are some of the symptoms to keep a lookout for:
- Feeling like you have sand or grit in your eye
- Pain, especially when opening or closing your eye
- Tearing and redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
What is the Best Way to Treat a Corneal Abrasion?
If you know that you are dealing with a corneal abrasion, start by rinsing your eye with clean water or a saline solution. Blink several times or pull the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid to help wash out the particle. Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your eyes with instruments. Also remove your contacts until your eye is healed.
Most minor abrasions heal within a day or two, but deep scratches may not. They can lead to infections, scars and other problems. Without medical intervention, you could suffer vision loss. Report unusual symptoms or persistent pain to your eye doctor.
Prompt Medical Attention is Key to Healthy Eyes
Empire Retina Consultants is a Brooklyn-based eye specialist that treats problems big and small. While eye scratches are common, we’ve seen them turn into bigger problems. Be sure to get prompt treatment if you do happen to scratch your eye. It could make all the difference in preventing an infection or ulcer! If you think you might have a Corneal Abrasion please make an appointment with our top retina specialists in Brooklyn, NY.