The cornea can be likened to the “window” of the eye. Located at the front of the eye, the cornea is a clear layer that covers the iris, or colored part of your eye. Both the cornea and lens focus light into the back of the eye, so the corneal plays a role in allowing you to see clearly. So what happens if you scratch the cornea of your eye?
What is Corneal Abrasion?
An abrasion occurs when the surface layer of the cornea is scratched away. When dust, dirt, wood, metal, or other debris comes in contact with the surface of the eye, it may cause a scratch, or abrasion of the cornea. Contact lenses can also cause abrasions if particles become trapped beneath them, or if proper lens hygiene is not followed.
When the offending debris is removed, corneal abrasion will make the eye feel irritated, and often, extremely painful.
Symptoms of corneal abrasion include:
- A feeling that something is in your eye
- Watery eyes/tearing
- Sensitivity to light
What to Do – and Not Do – About Corneal Abrasion
If you suspect corneal abrasion, seek medical attention. Left untreated, corneal abrasions have the potential to develop into much more serious corneal ulcers.
Hill Vision Service’s experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists in Creve Coeur, MO, Lake St. Louis, MO, and Glen Carbon, IL can properly diagnose and treat your injury, and we can help you avoid potential infection or complications.
Don’t Try to Remove Embedded Objects.
If an object, such as a pine needle, piece of wood, or any other sharp object is stuck in your eye, do not attempt to remove it.
Don’t Put Anything in Your Eye.
Never attempt to use tweezers, cotton swabs, or anything else to remove something in your eye. You are likely to cause even more damage, and it could cause a minor injury to become much more serious.
Don’t Rub Your Eye.
As tempting as it may be, do not rub your eyes—especially when they are irritated. If there is debris or an object in your eye, rubbing it will inevitably lead to more damage. Instead, rinse the eye and seek medical attention if discomfort does not subside.
Do Not Wear Contact Lenses
If your eye is healing from a corneal abrasion, contact lenses can cause infection. Opt for glasses and avoid wearing contacts until the eye is fully healed.
Most corneal abrasions heal within a few days. If irritation and/or redness or tearing do not subside, seek medical attention.