When your eye feels irritated, you might assume you have a grain of sand or an eyelash trapped in it. But red, painful eyes can mean a more serious issue than a foreign object where it shouldn’t be. It can also mean you have accidentally scratched your cornea.

Your cornea is the clear layer of tissue that covers your iris. If it receives a scrape, that wound is called a corneal abrasion. While most corneal abrasions aren’t serious, they can require a trip to your eye care professional.

What Are the Symptoms of a Scratched Cornea?

Your eyes are very sensitive organs. It doesn’t take much to irritate them, especially in the desert where dry particles blow around on every breeze. Since bits of debris can leave your eyes unhappy, how do you know if your cornea has sustained a scrape?

The symptoms of a scratched cornea are:

  • Pain that intensifies when you close or open your eye
  • Tearing up
  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • The feeling that you have grit or sand in your eye

If you have these symptoms and they don’t quickly fade, it’s time to see your eye care professional for an examination. Your eye doctor can examine your eye to determine if you’ve scratched your cornea, and if anything remains adhered to it. If so, they can safely remove whatever remains.

It’s especially important to see your eye care professional if:

  • You experience a loss of vision.
  • You can see something lodged in your eye, in your eyelid, or underneath your eyelid.
  • Your eye is more light sensitive after you receive the scratch.
  • An object or debris impacted with your eye at high speed, or with force.

How Do Corneal Abrasions Happen?

Scratched corneas can happen through everyday activities, such as:

  • Rubbing your eyes too hard
  • Getting sand, ashes, sawdust, wood shavings, dirt, or other foreign objects in your eye
  • Chemical splashes
  • An accidental poke from a makeup brush, fingernail, or other item
  • Certain eye infections
  • Poorly fitting contact lenses or lenses worn for too long
  • Sports
  • Surgery without eye protection

Worried About Your Eyes? Call Valley Eyecare Center!

If you’re concerned you’ve injured one of your eyes, the doctors at Valley Eyecare Center can help! For urgent situations, it’s best to call us at (602) 955-2700. For other concerns, you can contact us online!