About Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a scratch or a scrape on the cornea, which is the clear, round dome covering the eye's iris and pupil. By helping focus light as it enters the eye, the cornea plays an important role in vision. When a corneal abrasion scars the cornea, it can affect or impair vision.


There are a variety of causes of corneal abrasions. These include:

  • Something hitting or blowing into the eye, such as plant matter, sawdust, or ash
  • Foreign matter such as dust, dirt, or sand getting stuck under your eyelid
  • Sports injuries
  • Improperly maintained contact lenses
  • Something poking the eye
  • Vigorous rubbing on the eyes
  • Certain eye conditions, including trachoma, a bacterial infection
  • Undergoing surgery under general anesthesia


If you suffer a corneal abrasion, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain, which may feel worse when blinking or opening or closing the eyes
  • A feeling that there is something in your eye
  • Excessive tearing (producing tears/watery eyes)
  • Redness in or around the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision


A minor corneal abrasion will heal on its own in a few days. Your optometrist may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection, or a steroid to reduce inflammation to reduce the chance of scarring. In some cases, a bandage contact lens is also placed on the eye to act as a "band-aid" to reduce the pain.

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