Pain that may worsen when opening or closing the eye
A feeling that a foreign object is in your eye
Sensitivity to light
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. An eye exam will be done. The doctor will look for any foreign objects in the eye. Drops of a special dye may be placed in the eye. The dye will make it easier to see a scratch when seen under a special blue light.
Minor scratches usually heal within 1-2 days. Some severe scratches may form a scar and cause a permanent reduction in vision. An eye specialist may be needed to treat large or deep scratches.
Treatment may include:
Removing a Foreign Object
The foreign object may need to be removed. This may be done by flushing the eye with sterile fluid. The doctor may need a cotton swab, needle, or other tool to remove the object.
Medications may include:
Antibiotic ointment or eye drops to prevent infection
Pain medications to reduce discomfort
See an eye doctor for eye problems that persist. Other self-care steps that may help include:
Do not rub your eye. Rubbing may worsen the abrasion.
Use moist compresses to help relieve the pain.
Do not wear contact lenses until the doctor says it is okay to do so.
The doctor may place a special contact lens in the eye. It may help to relieve the discomfort and improve healing.
The eye will be monitored to make sure the scratch is healing.
To decrease the risk of injury to the cornea:
Do not rub your eyes.
Wear safety glasses or protective goggles during sports, yard work, construction, or other activities that could cause injury.
It is best to wear goggles that fully surround the eyes and make contact with the skin.
Very important during work with high-speed objects, such as hammering a nail or grinding metal.
Always wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. Clean and wear contact lenses as directed. Never sleep in contact lenses unless approved by an eye doctor.
If something gets in the eye:
Try to flush it out with water. Splash the water so it drains out toward the side of your head. You can also try putting your face into a bowl of water.
Corneal abrasions. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/corneal-abrasions.html. Updated November 2017. Accessed February 12, 2018
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