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Corneal Abrasion Treatment

The cornea is the clear, outer window of the eye.  A corneal abrasion is simply a scratch in the epithelium (skin), or the thin, outer layer of the cornea.  Abrasions usually heal in a short time period, sometimes within hours. Deeper or larger scratches may take up to a week.  The cornea has a tremendous number of nerve endings, which makes any damage to the cornea very painful.

A corneal abrasion is simply a scratch in the outer layer of the cornea.


  • History of a recent eye trauma
  • Watery eyes
  • Acute pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • The feeling that there’s something in your eye
  • Twitching eyelid


  • Foreign body in the eye
  • Contact lenses
  • Chemicals
  • Blow to the eye
  • Scratched eye (fingernails, hairbrushes, tree branches, curling iron, etc)


A corneal specialist may apply topical anesthesia to help relieve the pain or may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection.  If the abrasion is small, the epithelium should heal overnight.  If the abrasion is large, it may take a few days and your doctor may recommend a bandage contact lens or tight patch to wear overnight.  It is important that you do not rub your eye, especially during the healing process.