Corneal Abrasions

A corneal abrasion is a scratch of the cornea of the eye. The clear, front covering of the eye is called the cornea. The pupil and the iris are protected by the cornea from dust, debris and other objects. The eyelashes, eyelids and tears work together to keep the area clear of these foreign bodies. Sometimes, however, this protective layer is scratched, causing a corneal abrasion.

What Causes a Corneal Abrasion?

The cornea can be scratched a number of ways, including:

  • Getting sand underneath the eyelid while at the beach
  • Having a finger or fingernail scrape your eye during a sporting event
  • Petting an animal and getting dander in the eye
  • Rubbing your eye too vigorously when it’s dry or irritated
  • Having an insect fly into your eye
  • Introducing a chemical irritant to your eye


 The symptoms of a corneal abrasion include:

  • A red, irritated eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A feeling that something is in your eye or under your eyelid (foreign body sensation)


A scratch on the cornea is very unlikely to cause permanent damage to your vision. After a few days, most abrasions will heal and the symptoms will fade. While you are experiencing the pain and irritation of the corneal abrasion, however, it can be quite concerning. After a scratch to the eye or other eye trauma, you should visit an eye doctor to be evaluated. It may be a minor abrasion or something more serious. The ophthalmologists at Urgent Specialists can evaluate you or your child and expertly treat even the worst of corneal abrasions.

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