What to do for a scratched eye?

Updated July 05, 2018

The medical term for a scratched eye is a corneal abrasion. Your cornea is a thin, protective layer of tissue that covers your pupil and iris. When it's scratched, you could feel some pain or burning. It doesn't take much to scratch the eye. A simple piece of sand could do it. Even rubbing your eyes too hard or putting in a contact lens can cause a scratch. Treat the scratch as soon as you discover it to prevent further injury.


See your eye doctor if you suspect that you have a corneal abrasion. The doctor uses a dye that will help identify the scratch, and he'll determine whether you need antibiotic eye drops. If you need them, follow your doctor's instructions on the label. You may need to administer the drops two to four times per day. Continue appying them for the recommended number of days to ensure the scratch doesn't return.

Analgesic Drops

Your doctor also may prescribe a drug such as Benoxinate, an analgesic. These drops will numb the eye and relieve the pain. Unlike the antibiotics, you can stop taking these as soon as the pain is gone. Your doctor will let you know how often you can adminster them when you feel pain. If you are under 18 or are pregnant or nursing, let your doctor know so he can make sure you are eligible to take the medication.

Do not use over-the-counter saline drops for pain relief. This will not work. It will only help keep your eyes lubricated.

Leave Your Eye Alone

One of the most important things is to leave a scratched eye alone. Instinct tells you to rub the eye to make it feel better, but this can make the scratch worse. Stop wearing contact lenses and switch to glasses until the scratch has completely healed. The contact lens will rub against the scratch and irritate it. Making the abrasion worse could jeopardise your sight, as well as extend the recovery time. time. Follow your doctor's advice, keep your eye clean, and leave it alone so it can heal.

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About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.