What to Do If You’ve Scratched Your Cornea


The cornea is the clear outer covering of your eye that protects it against debris. However, it can become scratched from dirt or other foreign substances that rub against it. Learn how to tell if you’ve suffered a scratched cornea (also known as a corneal abrasion) and how to care for your injured eye.

Symptoms of a Scratched Cornea

Scratched corneas happen more often than you know, and are usually no cause for alarm. Dirt and dust constantly get blown into your eyes, and cause minor scratches all the time. You may feel minor irritation that will quickly pass as the scratch heals. Larger scratches may cause eye pain, watery eyes, and blurry vision.

Treating Minor Scratches

If you only have a minor scratch, it will probably go away on its own in a few days. Avoid rubbing your eyes or wearing contacts until the irritation has gone away. Protect your eyes against the sun with sunglasses. Warm compresses over your eyes can also help to soothe the irritation.

Treating Serious Scratches

If you are experiencing severe pain, or if your irritation doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see an eye doctor. He will examine your eye to see how serious the scratch is, and will make sure there are no complications that will prevent it from healing. He may prescribe antibiotics to keep your eye from getting infected, or eye drops to relieve pain and inflammation.

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