What is a Corneal Abrasion…

A Corneal Abrasion is a Scratch on the surface of the Cornea. The Cornea is the clear outer layer on the front of the Eye. Corneal Abrasions can be very painful.  However, they are common and occur more often than you think.

Corneal Abrasions can be caused by…

  • A Sports injury: This can happen in Sports such as Basketball or Football when a player gets poked in the Eye, or in Tennis or Racquetball when a player gets hit in the Eye with the Ball.
  • Something gets in the Eye: Splinters or tiny pieces of Dirt
  • Something Scratches the Eye: The Eye may be Scratched with something such as a Fingernail, Branch, piece of Paper, or Comb.
  • Problems with Contact Lenses: wearing Contact Lenses too long or improper insertion can also cause an Abrasion. Contacts not properly maintained may become chipped or cracked and Scratch the Eye.


  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Feeling like there is something in the Eye
  • A Scratchy Feeling
  • Pain
  • Painful Sensitivity to Light
  • Blurry Vision

How is it diagnosed…

Your Provider will ask about your symptoms and ask if you know how your Eye was scratched. Using special Eye drops and a Light that makes an Abrasion easier to see, your provider will look at your Eye. The drops contain a Dye that will stain your Eye yellow for a few minutes.

How is it treated…

If something is still in your eye, your healthcare provider will attempt to flush the object out with solution and if necessary remove the object by numbing your Eye with Anesthetic Eye Drops and retrieving the object with special instruments.

Your provider may:

  • Give you Antibiotic drops or Ointment to use for several days.
  • Give you another Medicine that Dilates your eyes and helps relieve Pain and Sensitivity to Light.
  • May tape a Eye Patch over your Eye to keep the Eyelid closed. This helps to relieve Pain.

How long will this take to heal…

Most Corneal Abrasions heal in a day or two. Larger Abrasions will take longer. If symptoms last longer than that, return to your provider for a recheck because there may be a more serious problem.

Once the Cornea has healed, you can usually resume your normal activities right away. If you wear Contact Lenses, your healthcare provider may ask you to wait one week after your Cornea has healed before you wear your Contact Lenses again.

How can I help prevent a Corneal Abrasion…

  • Always wear Goggles, Safety Glasses, or Eye Shields at work or when playing Sports where your Eyes could be injured.
  • Follow your Eye Care Provider’s instructions for wearing and caring for Contact Lenses. Do not wear them longer than recommended.



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