Do You Have a Scratched Cornea? Look for These Signs

Many parts of the eye can become injured or infected, but one of the most common issues people experience is a scratched cornea. The cornea is the eye’s clear outer layer, and it protects many other structures in your eye, including the iris and pupil. Because it’s the outermost layer of your eye, your cornea is also at the highest risk of injury or infection. The team at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX recommends keeping a few signs in mind that are most commonly associated with a scratched cornea.

What are the symptoms of a scratched cornea?

If you’ve ever gotten a tiny particle of dirt in your eye before, you know how painful even a small object in your eye can be. Similarly, a scratched cornea will most often be associated with mild to moderate pain that doesn’t let up. Other signs the team at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio recommend watching out for are:

  • A feeling of sand or grit in the eye

  • Pain when opening or shutting the eye

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Blurry vision

  • Tearing and redness anywhere on the eye

What causes a scratched cornea?

Anything that strikes you in the eye, even your own finger, can scratch your cornea. The impact doesn’t need to be severe, and many people don’t feel pain right away after having a scratched cornea.

Common causes of a scratched cornea include poking or scraping the eye with a fingernail or pen, getting matter like dirt or sand stuck in the eye, or having the eye come into contact with chemicals. Your cornea can also become scratched if you wear dirty or poorly fitting contact lenses.

How to treat a scratched cornea

Most corneal scratches can be cleared up quickly, and minor scratches usually heal on their own within a few days. Depending on the cause, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to keep the infection from building up in the eye, and it’s common to use an eyepatch or tape the eye shut to prevent it from becoming sensitive to light.

How can you prevent a cornea scratch?

Many cornea scratches occur because a person felt like they had a foreign object in their eye and rubbed it to get rid of it. Often, rubbing the object only puts pressure on it, causing it to scratch the cornea.

The best way to get something out of your eye is to blink a few times, which may cause the item to move to the upper or lower eyelid, where you can rinse gently with saline and remove it. Never try to remove anything that is stuck on your cornea, as you could risk serious damage to your eye. Remember that anything you get stuck in your eye will feel much bigger than it actually is because the eye is so sensitive.

Protect your eyes by scheduling a consultation today

A scratched cornea can cause serious pain and can limit your ability to do day-to-day activities. But knowing the signs of a scratched cornea and some of the most common causes can help keep your eye healthy and prevent further injury. Whether you’re experiencing eye pain or want to schedule a regular vision exam, contact the team at Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.