Vision Blog / Healing a Scratched Cornea

Healing a Scratched Cornea

It can happen in an instant. A twig snaps or leaf blows across your face, a poke with the mascara wand, a speck of dust, a contact lens fail: Any of these happenstances could result in a scratched eye. Known as a corneal abrasion, a scratched eye is a common occurrence, but how do you heal a scratched eye? Let's help you be prepared.

First of all, what exactly is the cornea? It's the clear outer layer of your eye that protects your eye from dirt, germs, and other harmful substances. The cornea is full of pain receptors--more than in your skin. So when it's damaged? It can be painful.

To help you heal a scratched eye, whether it’s happens to you or someone you love, we’ve compiled some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology about caring for a corneal abrasion.

If you suspect you’ve injured your eye, see your opthamologist. He or she will use a special dye that highlights the damaged area so they can diagnose the problem and recommend treatment options. If you feel an injury needs urgent treatment, get to urgent care or an emergency room right away.

Once a doctor diagnoses a scratched cornea, treatment options vary depending on the injury. Options might include an eyepatch, or moisturizing or antibiotic eye drops. Contact lenses designed to alleviate pain and speed up the healing process might be prescribed, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

A minimal injury might heal in a few days. More serious injuries, of course, take longer. To accelerate the healing process, be sure to do the following:

•  Blink to clear away anything that’s not meant to be in your eye.
•  Rinse your eye with saline solution or even fresh water.
•  Wear protective sunglasses.
•  Don’t rub or touch your eyes, as this could worsen your injury.
•  If you regularly wear prescription contact lenses, wear your glasses until your doctor says it’s okay to wear your contacts. 
•  Don’t use eyedrops intended for redness, because this could cause more pain to a scratched eye.

Prevention is good medicine. Always wear eye protection when playing sports or doing yard work. Take your time and pay attention when putting on eye makeup or brushing your hair, as fast-moving brushes close to your face are common ways in which corneas get scratched. 

Finally, enjoy peace of mind and make sure you’ve got the best vision insurance possible to protect you and your family. We’ve done the research and are here to help choose the best plans for your family. Chat with one of our teammates at 888-890-1944 or e-mail us at

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology