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First Aid for Corneal Abrasion

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

A scratch on the cornea of the eye is termed as a Corneal Abrasion. It may lead to watery eyes, redness, blurred vision, and even photophobia. However, with adequate and prompt treatment, the condition may be resolved.


What is Corneal Abrasion?

  • A scratch on the cornea of the eye is termed as a Corneal Abrasion
  • It may lead to watery eyes, redness, blurred vision, and even photophobia. However, with adequate and prompt treatment, the condition may be resolved

What are the Causes of Corneal Abrasion?

The causes of Corneal Abrasion include:

  • Foreign objects such as dust, dirt, sand, metal, and wood pieces
  • Contact lenses
  • An accidental injury to the eye caused by scratching with a finger nail or the edge of a paper
  • Branches of trees or plants, leaves
  • Exposure to bugs and insects

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Corneal Abrasion?

The signs and symptoms of Corneal Abrasion include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Foreign body in eye feeling
  • Pain
  • Redness in the eye
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light

How is First Aid administered for Corneal Abrasion?

If Corneal Abrasion is suspected, you need to seek medical assistance. In the meantime, you may follow these steps:

  • DO NOT rub your eyes
  • DO NOT touch the eyeball
  • Rinse eye with water or saline solution. You may use an eye wash station, if it is available
  • You may sink your head in a bowl of water with eyes held open
  • Blink more often, than you normally would
  • You might consider taking over-the-counter medications (like Tylenol), to help relieve pain
  • Seek medical assistance

Who should administer First Aid for Corneal Abrasion?

The affected individual or someone in close proximity to the affected individual may administer First Aid.

What is the Prognosis of Corneal Abrasion?

With timely administration of First Aid and the provision of appropriate medical attention, the prognosis is good.

How can Corneal Abrasion be Prevented?

Corneal Abrasions can be prevented by wearing suitable protective eye-wear.

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Rinsing with water or saline
  • Not touching or rubbing one’s eyes
  • Seeking medical attention

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 28, 2013
Last updated: March 5, 2018