The cornea is the clear layer at the front of your eye. An abrasion is a shallow scratch. So a corneal abrasion is a scratch to your cornea.
A corneal foreign body is an object, such as a grain of sand, that gets stuck in your cornea and irritates it.
A minor corneal abrasion usually heals on its own in a few days
A corneal foreign body needs to be removed by a doctor
Sometimes an injury to your cornea can get infected—this is more likely to happen if injury was caused by a piece of soil or plant matter
Eyedrops or ointment help prevent infection
See a doctor as soon as possible if you think you have a corneal scratch or something in your cornea.
Anything that can get into your eye can cause corneal problems. Small bits of material, such as particles in the air, may get blown into your eye by:
Your cornea can also get scratched by a:
Contact lenses are a common source of problems. You may have corneal problems if you:
People with dry eyes have a higher risk of getting a corneal abrasion. Those who work in places where small particles fly around in the air have a higher risk of getting a corneal abrasion or corneal foreign object.
Doctors can tell if you have a corneal injury by examining your eye. After they check your vision, they'll put a drop of dye in your eye and then look at your eye with a special light. The dye runs into the abrasion and the light makes it glow, which helps show a scratch or foreign body in your cornea. Eye doctors use a special magnifying scope (slit lamp) to look at the cornea.
Doctors treat corneal abrasions with:
Doctors treat corneal foreign bodies by taking out the object. Doctors will:
If you wear contact lenses, don't wear them for awhile. Your cornea needs to heal. Your doctor will let you know when it's okay to wear them again.