Understanding its Nature, Symptoms and Recommended Treatments

Healing your scratched eye

Eye problems bring many issues to people from all walks of life. While there are many existing eye problems, scratched eye (also known as corneal abrasion) is most damaging, causing people pain and discomfort and interfering with their daily lives. In order to avoid serious complications, your scratched eye must be given immediate medical attention.

My scratched eye hurts!

Learning Its Nature:


A scratched eye is a painful condition caused by a scratch/cut in the eye’s front (cornea). This part of the eye covers the iris, allowing it to focus on light. While some minor conditions are easily treatable, others are severe enough to threaten your eyesight. Because of this, awareness of even simple injuries are important.
Although anyone can experience this ailment, contact lens users are more susceptible. Pretty much anything touching the eye can cause scratched eye. However, rubbing the eye has been found to be one of the more common causes. Fingernails can make easy contact with the eye without noticing.

Blue bar torn cornea


Common Causes of Scratched Eye:


The following situations can cause a scratched cornea:

  • Eye contact with plants, makeup brushes, fingernails
  • Sawdust, air, dirt, sand, or other object blown into eyes or trapped under eyelids
  • Aggressive eye rubbing
  • Unclean, poorly fitting contact lenses
  • Chemical burns in the eye
  • Eye infections
  • Lack of eye protection during surgical procedures


These symptoms do not always occur immediately which can make it challenging to identify the cause.

Blue bar torn cornea


Symptoms of Scratched Eye:


The most common symptoms of scratched eye/corneal abrasion are as follows:

  • Feeling grit/sand in the eye
  • Pain when opening/closing the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Redness and tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swelling
  • Excessive tears

Blue bar torn cornea


Recommended Treatment:


When something gets inside the eyes, most people are naturally inclined to rub their eyes. Unfortunately, this can worsen the situation by irritating the eyes. However, blinking or pulling the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid and rinsing with clear water/sterile solution is a great way to safely remove particles from the eye without pain or swelling.


In more serious cases of scratched eye, you may need a doctor to remove something from your cornea. This is a very risky, complex procedure and should not be tried at home under any circumstances! A medical expert is the only qualified person to examine the eye, determine the damage, and remove the object.


Abrasions generally heal over time, but in some cases, your doctor will provide you with eye drops, particularly if contact lenses are the cause of your ailment.

Blue bar torn cornea


The Healing Process:


Abrasion and eye scratches are best treated naturally depending on the severity of the case. In some situations, eye scratches can heal between one to two days and leave no permanent damage. Throughout the healing process, cells will reconnect with undamaged layers and renew scratches on the cornea. However, you should avoid rubbing your eye. Using cold compress can prevent eye swelling and reduce pain.


Seeing an Ophthalmologist:


If you begin to experience intense pain/discomfort from corneal abrasion, you will need to see a medical expert who specializes in eye care and treatment. Also, anesthetic eye drop is recommended to ease eye pain and ward of infections. An ophthalmologist can provide you with the best treatment options.


Things to Avoid:


There are many things you can do to avoid scratched eye. For instance, if you frequently wear contact lenses, it is advisable to not wear them for the full period, as this can slow down the healing process. While corneal abrasions don’t cause blindness, they can temporarily blur one’s vision. It may take several weeks for the healing process to clear your vision and complete. You are advised to not rub your eyes during this period. Scratched eye can recur after treatment so you should ask your doctor for lubricants/safe ointments.

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