The purpose of this article is to explain how to deal with corneal abrasions. If you scratched your eye you are not alone, about 10% of emergency eye care is related to corneal abrasions or scratches to the eye.

What are Corneal Abrasions?

Corneal abrasions are also referred to as a scratch to the eye. A sudden injury or something stuck under the lid can cause it to occur, leading to scratches on the eyes as you blink.

It is usually followed by a lot of pain. That's because the cornea actually contains nerves. It has a lot of nerves on the front surface. If your eye gets scratched, it will hurt, especially when you blink, and you may have difficulty closing that eye sometimes.

Who is at Risk of Corneal Abrasions?

Corneal abrasions are more likely to occur in people with dry eyes, in those who wear contact lenses, or in people who work in dusty or debris-filled environments. This is why eye doctors are very vocal that people should always wear protective eye wear whenever they are in a dusty or debris-filled environment.

What Should I do if I Have a Scratched Eye?

The first thing you should do is call our eye doctor. Even though many minor scratches heal on their own, or with artificial tears, it is still important to see an eye doctor. The biggest concern is infection. Therefore, we want to make sure that any infection is prevented. Think of it like an open wound where bacteria can get in and infect the eye. In order to heal the eye, antibiotic drops are often used, along with other drops.

In cases of corneal abrasions or scratches that are more severe, optometrists may use a bandage contact lens to ease the pain and speed up the healing process. Depending on how deep or large the scratches are, they will either heal in a few days or require a bit more attention. Most of the time, if they're properly cared for, they heal well and don't scar unless they're deeper than there is a risk of scarring.

Receive the best care by visiting us for an emergency eye exam at our leading optometry clinic in Olympia, attracting patients from Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey. Call (360) 491-2121 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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