Scratched Cornea: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Apart from the protective functions, cornea is also instrumental in the regular vision abilities of a person and a scratched cornea can create many problems. In case you have scratched your cornea, you would find that there is a lot of pain in the eye, particularly when blinking or opening closing the eye. There are some other related symptoms of a corneal abrasion and some treatment options have been discussed here.

Understanding the Medical Condition of Corneal Abrasion

A corneal scrape or scratch is a scuff that happens on the whitish part of the human eye that is known as cornea. Generally, this occurs when the exterior layer of your cornea is wounded. An individual will immediately realize it if the following symptoms manifests, for example, photophobia, excess release of tears, uncomfortable feeling in your eye, and hurtful cornea. Moreover, a blurred vision may occur due to excessive inflammation of the cornea.

  • There are some major known causes of scratched eye and they include prodding of a finger or any other sharp object into the eye. Besides, corneal abrasion can be as a result of grit or rubbing of one’s eye, the above may result into a cut on the cornea. Sometimes it is possible for foreign bodies such as fingernails or eyelash hair to enter eyes and consequently scratching them. In other cases hard contact lenses have been known to cause corneal abrasion if they have not been worn for a long time.

However, there are some basic applications that can be very vital in avoiding and preventing corneal abrasion. The best way is by protecting oneself from all forms of bothersome scratches. For instance, an individual can wear goggles while working with machines that cause specks to load the air. Moreover, it is imperative to keep one’s nails short and neat, contact lenses should be removed prior to sleeping, and all contact lens wearers ought to keep them clean.


Since a corneal scratch is a direct impact on your vision, there are several symptoms that you would notice during the course of the day. It can simply start with a feeling of a foreign body in your eye, along with a lot of pain and discomfort due to the scratching. You would not be able to blink properly and any kind of eye’s activity might be painful. Headache and eye pain would be extremely common in the condition and there would be a newfound sensitivity to light. Tearing and redness are two other factors which would gradually emerge and this might lead to a blurry vision. At the worst, existence of these scratched cornea symptoms over time can eventually result in a loss of vision. The causes of a scratched cornea are many and for treating the condition of corneal abrasion, you might have to take care of the cause first. In case the corneal scratch is due to a medical condition, like eye infections or surgical complications, you might need to resolve the condition first. In other cases, you simply have to assist your eye in natural healing through the following means.


The cases of scratched cornea can easily be resolved through generic treatment and you would find that this condition usually goes away naturally. Any type of mild corneal abrasion takes around 1-3 days at the maximum for healing and the natural function of the eye repairs this protective layer. The proper functioning of cornea is extremely important as it is a protective covering over the iris and the pupil. Further, it also assists in vision by properly reflecting the light. Any kind of problem with the cornea can lead to vision problems in the long run and you need to make sure that this condition is always taken care of. Here are some first aid steps that you might want to take, in case you feel that you have a scratched cornea.

Simple First Aid for Scratched Cornea

However, should an unfortunate thing happen and an individual hurts their eye, then it is imperative to perform first aid treatment prior to getting professional assistance of an eye specialist. For instance, if an individual is having a minor irritation due to a speck of dirt, then it is important to wash one’s eye with clean running water. A solution of saline can also be used to clean the affected eye. The procedure is accomplished by tilting the head back, and then pouring clean water on the eye. However, caution ought to be exercised to avoid water entering the nostrils. Lastly, water can be placed in a large bowl; the victim is allowed to immerse their head into the water while still opening their eyes.

After performing the above first aid basics, the victim can now visit a doctor to have a professional treatment for their eyes. Mostly, an eye specialist is known as ophthalmologist, they shall thoroughly examine the eye and consequently offer the best treatment. For instance, depending on the gravity of the condition they shall recommend some antibiotics that are mostly administered in eye-drops forms. Some steroid eyedrops are useful in relieving inflamed eyes and moreover, they aid in avoiding scarring. To relieve painful eyes instantaneously, anesthetic eyedrops can be used. However, to avoid any eventuality of a tetanus attack, the doctor might recommend a tetanus injection.

Medical Treatment

Usually, you would not require any proper treatment in case of minor abrasions. However, if the abrasion is a deep one, you might have to consult your doctor in this regard. Usually, it is usually done through the means of antibiotic eye drops and medicines for accelerating the cornea repair. These antibiotic drops also make sure that there is no infection which can attack the eye in this scenario and make matters worse. A complete formal scratched cornea treatment might not be required in most cases, but a doctor’s opinion on the case should be sought at the earliest.

Writing In The End

If your eyes are in pain, reddened or swollen these could be a sign of something more serious than allergies or common mistakes while playing around indoors or outdoors or with your children. Knowing when to see a doctor about your eyes is crucial. If your pain does not stop or becomes worse then a trip to the doctor may be worthwhile. If your vision blurs or you have that something in your eye feeling those would be two more good reasons to visit the doc. Your eyes will be tested by your doctor or even an ophthalmologist with dye and a blue light that both can be used to see if any abnormalities are present.