A corneal abrasion, or scratched eye, is one of the most common conditions that bring people to the eye doctor. The problem is that it can happen anywhere, at any time. Although usually the symptoms aren’t severe, it’s important to take precautions to avoid making it worse.
What is a Corneal Abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is simply defined as a scratch at the cornea of your eye. The cornea is the transparent part of your eye that covers the pupil, iris, and anterior chamber.
Someone with a scratched eye may feel irritation, burning, pain, redness, light sensitivity, a dull ache, and a gritty sensation in the eye.
Minor scratches can be invisible and heal themselves, while more significant scratches may require a visit to an urgent care facility or your local eye doctor.
Virtually anything can scratch your eye, including:
- Dust, sand, or dirt
- Tree branches, such as in the case of someone who is employed as a tree trimmer
- Paper and paper particles
- Pet hair
- Makeup and makeup brushes
- Workplace debris and equipment, such as in the came of someone who works in the construction, maintenance, or automotive field
Treating a Scratched Eye
How you react once you realize or feel that your eye has been scratched is significant, as you could make it worse.
Once you feel the problem, do not rub your eye, as whatever is in it could further scratch the eye. Even if the object is no longer there, other foreign objects could be.
You can rinse your eye, but do not use tap water, which has chemicals and microorganisms that can lead to infection. Use a sterile saline eye wash instead.
If discomfort or pain increases, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately to prevent serious damage to your eye. With proper treatment, most corneal abrasions can heal completely.
For minor corneal abrasions, lubricating eye drops may be enough, as they can lubricate the eye while it heals itself. Your eye doctor may also prescribe antibiotic drops to prevent infection.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment to see one of our eye doctors in Flint, Oxford, Fenton, Grand Blanc, or Lapeer today. Even if your condition seems minor, treatment can speed up the recovery process and prevent further damage to your eye.