A corneal abrasion involves a scratch to the surface of the cornea. This can occur if foreign objects scratch the eye surface such as gravel, metal fillings, sand or twigs. The cornea is a clear and protective layer that covers the iris and pupil.
What are the possible causes?
- Foreign objects that enter the eye
- Eye infections
- Being poked in the eye by a fingernail
- Wearing contaminated contact lenses
- Chemical burns
- Rubbing of the eyes forcefully
- Eye pain
- Gritty sensation in the eye
- Watery eyes
- Feeling that there is something stuck in the eye
- Light sensitivity
- Visual disturbance or vision loss
Management for corneal abrasion
For minor cases of corneal abrasion, they typically heal on their own within 3 days. In severe cases, the healing takes a longer time.
- The individual should avoid rubbing the eye if there is a sensation of a foreign object. It is best to blink the eyes several times.
- The upper eyelid should be drawn gently over the lower lid and rinse the eye using clean water or a saline solution.
- The doctor might prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent infection as well as pain medications.
- Until the eye is fully healed, avoid using contact lenses. Use sunglasses to reduce the discomfort from the glare of the sun and avoid rubbing the eye.
If a sensation of a foreign body persists without any relief, a doctor must be consulted. The doctor will examine the eye using a stain to visualize the eye surface and get rid of any foreign object.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a corneal abrasion is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage eye injuries including abrasions by taking a standard first aid course with Mississauga First Aid.