Eye scratches, called corneal abrasions, can be scary and painful, but they often heal without any difficulties. You should always see your optometrist if you receive a wound to your eye to ensure proper treatment.
How Eye Scratches Happen
Many eye injuries happen from normal activities that do damage you might not notice right away. Examples include:
- Rubbing your eye too hard
- A splash of cleaning solutions, chemicals, or other irritants
- Sand, dirt, or other debris flying into your eye
- A bristle from a makeup brush scraping your eye
- Eye infections
- Over-wearing your contact lenses
- Wearing dirty contact lenses
- Performing risky physical activities without proper eye protection
Symptoms of a Scratched Eye
Scratched eyes present symptoms you can recognize. Some of these might seem like more innocent issues at first, but if they persist, you should have them checked out by an eye doctor.
- You notice tearing or redness in your eye
- You feel pain when you open or close your eye
- Your eye becomes sensitive to light
- You have blurry vision
- You have a persistent feeling of sand or grit in your eye
How to Treat an Eye Scratch
If you believe you have scratched your eye, it is important for you to visit your optometrist or even an urgent care clinic. You may still have foreign matter on the surface of your eye that needs to be removed.
- Do not rub your eye! This can create more scratches.
- Rinse your eye with clear water or saline solution. This can help flush foreign objects from your eye.
- Do not touch your eye with a finger, cotton swab, or other object. This can create further damage.
- Do not wear contact lenses. This can promote infections and slow healing.
- Do not use over-the-counter redness drops. They can sting and will not help.
- Go to your eye doctor as soon as possible. They will examine your eye and give you the best plan for healing it. This may include ointments, eye drops, and medications to help you stay comfortable while your eye heals.