Fortunately, virtually all corneal abrasions are preventable! When working with wood or metal, wear appropriate safety glasses. And when hiking, lying on the beach, snowboarding or riding your bicycle, wear sunglasses or goggles to help prevent debris from getting in your eyes.
Our natural response to a foreign object in our eye is to rub it to relieve the irritation and itching. This is the worst thing you can do. The rubbing can cause the foreign object to further damage the cornea by scraping it across the eye. As tempting as it may be, the right way to remove debris from your eye is to gently flush it out with saline or water.
If you experience intense pain or blurred vision, it is essential that you seek medical attention immediately, particularly if you believe the particle may be wood, glass or metal. An eye doctor will carefully examine your eye and may prescribe pain medication or antibiotic eye drops to guard against infection.
Along with pink eye, corneal abrasions are extremely common in young children. Toys, dirt, and fingernails are the leading causes of a scratched cornea in children. To help guard against an eye injury, keep fingernails as short as possible. The challenge, of course, is like adults, the urge to rub the eyes when they hurt or itch can be intense. And keeping a child from rubbing their eyes can be exceedingly difficult.
What Is a Corneal Abrasion?
The cornea is the clear dome that covers the iris and pupil. It helps the eye to focus as light enters the eye. A healthy, scratch-free and scar-free cornea is important to vision. When debris enters the eye, it can scratch or scrape the cornea resulting in a corneal abrasion.