The cornea of your eye is one of the most sensitive areas on your body. Even a small abrasion will be extremely painful. Along with the pain, there are other symptoms related to a scratch on the cornea. You may experience redness, light sensitivity, blurry or decreased vision, headaches, eye twitching, and even nausea.
Causes of a Scratched Cornea
How does a cornea become scratched? The ways to scratch your cornea are endless. Any object that comes into contact with your eye has the possibility of damaging or harming it. Makeup brushes, your finger, a tree branch, workplace debris – anything that gets close enough to touch your eye. Most times it isn’t even a traumatic event and you might not even realize it’s happened until the symptoms show up. Even being outside where there is dirt or sand flying through the air can cause a scratch when you attempt to rub it away.
If you suffer from dry eyes, you could risk causing a scratch trying to open your eyes when you wake each morning. When your eye is dry, your lids can tear and dislodge an outer layer portion just from opening them.
Treatment for a Scratched Cornea
Treating a scratch will depend on the severity of your wound. If it is not a serious one, you can treat it with a non-preserved lubricate applied to your eye. Keeping your eye comfortably moist will allow your eye to naturally heal itself. It is sometimes recommended to use an antibiotic eye drop so infection cannot set in.
If the scratch is more serious, it may need an ointment containing an antibiotic to keep on your eye longer. Sometimes a steroid is needed to decrease the inflammation caused by the scratch. The steroid will also relieve your pain and help reduce the chance of permanent scarring.
Preventing a Scratched Cornea
Since you are not always aware you’ve scratched your eye, it is somewhat difficult to prevent it from happening. There are some circumstances, however, that can help ensure the safety of your eyes. Wearing safety glasses or goggles while doing work where particles are likely to fly about is one method.
Contact your eye doctor immediately if you suspect your cornea has been scratched. The best way to ensure your eye health and prevent permanent damage will require a knowledgeable eye doctor’s help.