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Corneal Abrasion

Symptoms of Corneal Abrasion

Once you've had a corneal abrasion, you're not likely to forget the unrelenting pain and discomfort it can cause. Symptoms of corneal abrasion may include:

  • Feeling like you have sand or grit in your eye
  • Eye pain, especially when opening or closing your eye
  • Tearing and redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision

Corneal Abrasion Treatment

Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be recommended to prevent an infection in cases of corneal abrasion. Medicated eye drops to ease pain and inflammation may also be used.

Sometimes, doctors temporarily patch the scratched eye. Pain medication may also be given.

A minor scratch should heal on its own in one to three days. More severe abrasions may take longer to heal.

Here are some tips to help you while your eye heals:

  • Do not wear contacts until your eye has completely healed and your eye doctor says it is safe to do so.
  • Wear sunglasses to help ease pain caused by the glare of the sun.
  • Do not rub your eye.

Most people fully recover from minor corneal abrasions without permanent eye damage. However, deeper scratches can cause corneal infections, cornea erosion, or scarring of the cornea. If not treated properly, these complications can result in long-term vision problems. Any unusual symptoms, including a recurrence of pain following healing, should be reported to your eye doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on November 12, 2013
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