Gritty sensation in the eye, tearing, blurred vision, redness, increased sensitivity, etc., are some of the symptoms of a scratched cornea. An ophthalmologist must be immediately consulted for prompt diagnosis and treatment of corneal abrasions.
The term ‘corneal abrasion’ refers to a scratch on the cornea, which is the transparent, dome-shaped protective covering over the iris. Trauma to the surface of the eye could occur, if one vigorously rubs the eye or foreign particles such as dirt, dust, sand, etc., enters the eye. Contact lens users may end up with corneal abrasions, if they rub their eyes while wearing contact lenses. Under such circumstances, one must consult an ophthalmologist for immediately.
Symptoms of a Scratched Cornea
- Irritation in the eyes
- Redness of the eyeball
- Blurred vision
- Swollen eyelids
- Tearing of the eye
Though most of us would not scratch our eyes intentionally, unintentional eye injuries or accidents could cause corneal abrasions. If dust particles or a wood splinter gets lodged in your eye, the outer layer of your eyeball might get scratched. Every time you blink, the sand or wooden splinter might rub against the eye surface and cause corneal abrasions. If any foreign particles stays lodged in the eye for a long time, it can scratch the cornea. Be careful while you are playing in the woods. Don’t let the tree branches or leaves rub against your eyes. Being poked in the eye by a fingernail or brush could also cause an abrasion.
Misuse of Contact Lenses
Those who wear contact lenses need to be very careful. Wearing ill-fitted, torn, or dirty contact lenses can cause a lot of damage. Sometimes, wearing contact lenses for a long duration might give rise to symptoms such as discharge, eye pain, and blurred vision. If you rub your eyes with your lenses on, you might get corneal abrasions on your eye. One of the common symptoms of a scratched eyeball or cornea is gritty sensation in the affected eye.
If something has fallen into your eye, you must try to wash it off with water or saline solution. If it stays in your eyes for a longer time, it might aggravate the problem. Though you might be tempted to touch or rub your eyes, refrain from doing so. Relax and don’t blink vigorously.
If the problem has been caused due to contact lenses, don’t wear your lenses till your eye heals completely. Generally the doctors prescribe eye drops or ointments to treat this eye condition. These antibacterial eye drops and ointments help ease the pain and discomfort and also prevent eye infections. In case the pain is severe, the ophthalmologist might prescribe anesthetic drops. In cases where the eye has become very sensitive to light, one may have to use a patch to block the light.
Besides the treatment, you must also give your eyes proper rest. Watching television or sitting in front of your computer will definitely aggravate the problem. You must take all possible precautions to speed up the healing process. As a precautionary measure, always wear sunglasses while you are out in sun or in a windy environment. This might prevent any foreign particle from falling in your eyes.
If you ever scratch your eyes accidentally, it’s advisable that you get your eyes examined soon. Give your eyes time to heal and take all steps to avoid this problem in future.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of an ophthalmologist.