A scratched cornea (also known as a corneal abrasion) can be described as a superficial abrasion on the cornea (the protective, ‘clear window’ at the front of your eye).
The cornea can be scratched as a result of contact with an edge of a piece of paper, contact lenses, metal particles, wood shavings, sand, dirt or dust. Cornea scratching that is normally caused by plant matter, such as pine needles, require special attention due to the delayed inflammation inside the eye they may cause.
Symptoms of a scratched cornea
If you get an injury to your eye, you will be suffering from a corneal abrasion. The common symptoms are:
• Squinting caused by spasm of the muscles surrounding your eye
• Pain in the eye when it is exposed to a bright light
• Loss of vision or blurred vision
• Tearing of the eyes
• Unknown sensation in the eye. It is a feeling that you have something in your eye you cannot remove. The feeling may occur several hours later instead of immediately after the injury
Seeking medical care
The above symptoms are usually a sign of a scratched cornea. An ophthalmologist (medical physician specializing in eye surgery and care) should be consulted when you experience the following:
• A past eye injury that starts itching or hurting again
• Heat or chemical burn to the eye
• Severe pain or pain that lasts for more than several hours. Medical care should be sought if you do not recall any injury to the eye, and you experience pain
• Your eyes are red
• Exposure to bright indoor lights or sunlight causes severe eye pain
• You feel something is in your eye, but you are unable to remove it
• You use high-speed equipment that could cause a fragment to enter your eye and receive an eye injury. Such injuries are usually caused during sawing or sanding in carpentry or hammering metal, or from a grinding wheel
• You experience a significant blurring of vision or sudden loss of vision
• You experience eye pain, without or with an associated eye injury
Anytime you have such symptoms, you should visit a hospital with an eye specialist or visit an ophthalmologist. If you do not have an idea where to begin, you can search online for ophthalmologists in your area.
Alternatively, you can request your general physician for recommendations. Take note that the earlier you take action, the higher the chances of getting a solution for your corneal abrasion. This is best solution for how to deal with a scratched eye.