This problem is more common in people who wear contact lenses. It is also more common in men and people who are between 20 and 34 years of age. Other things that may raise the risk are:
- A history of trauma
- Not wearing eye protection for high-risk activities, such as working with metal
- Having dry eyes
- Bell palsy
Most abrasions heal in 1 to 3 days. Large scratches may take up to 4 to 5 days to heal. A cool compress and artificial tears can help ease discomfort. Contact lenses should not be worn.
Treatment choices are:
- Removing any unusual object stuck in the eye
- Supportive care, such as a cool compress and artificial tears to ease pain
- Wearing a bandage contact lens to help a large abrasions heal
Medicines, such as:
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Over the counter pain medicine, such as ibuprofen
- Prescription pain medicine for people with a severe abrasion
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Scratched Cornea)
American Academy of Ophthalmology http://www.aao.org
American Optometric Association http://www.aoanet.org
Canadian Association of Optometrists http://www.opto.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Ahmed F, House RJ, et al. Corneal abrasions and corneal foreign bodies. Prim Care. 2015 Sep;42(3):363-375.
Corneal abrasion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/corneal-abrasion . Updated April 29, 2019. Accessed May 1, 2020.
Corneal abrasions. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/corneal-abrasions.html. Updated November 9, 2017. Accessed May 1, 2020.