Treatments for a Scratched Cornea

Written by lynn lecours
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The eye is an amazingly self sufficient piece of human anatomy. When injured, the eye's highly organised group of cells and proteins quickly begin working on repair. If the cornea is scratched, healthy cells immediately patch the injury before vision is impaired or infection can occur. There are several ways to assist the cornea in the healing process from minor scratches and abrasions.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sterile saline solution
  • Artificial tears or eye lubricants
  • Sunglasses
  • Acetaminophen

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  1. 1

    Remove the foreign object from your eye by rinsing the eye with clean tap water or a sterile saline solution or eye wash. Tilt the head back and flush a steady stream of the liquid over the eye until it runs out. Many scratches are caused by small particles such as dust and will easily wash out of the eye. If the object has punctured the cornea, a doctor visit is necessary.

  2. 2

    Use artificial tears or eye lubricants available over-the-counter to soothe the scratched cornea while it heals.

  3. 3

    Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat the pain following label directions. If a single dose does not relieve the pain, see your ophthalmologist

  4. 4

    Give your eye a rest while the healing process occurs. This means significantly reduce reading, watching TV or working on a computer. Keep the eye closed as much as possible.

  5. 5

    Wear sunglasses while the eye is healing to reduce pain and discomfort.

  6. 6

    Treat with prescription antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drops or ointment if the injury involves a puncture of the eye or is more than a minor scratch. Visit your ophthalmologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Tips and warnings

  • It is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist whenever an eye injury occurs.

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