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- Dust, dirt, sand, wood slivers, or metal shavings hitting the eye
- Vigorously rubbing the eye, especially when something is in it
- A fingernail, tree branch, or other object scratching the eye
- Wearing contact lenses , especially if the lenses are worn longer than directed or not cleaned properly
- Not protecting the eyes during surgery—the cornea can dry out if your eyes are not fully shut during surgery
- Certain eye disorders
- Having a dry or weak cornea
- Wearing contact lenses
- Working in a setting with eye hazards, such as metal working or gardening
- Participating in sports where accidental eye injuries can occur
- Bell's palsy
- Pain that may worsen when opening or closing the eye
- A feeling that a foreign object is in your eye
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
Removing a Foreign Object
- Antibiotic ointment or eye drops to prevent infection
- Pain medications as needed
- Do not rub your eye. Rubbing may worsen the abrasion.
- Moist compresses may help relieve the pain.
- Do not put your contact lenses back in your eye until you get your doctor's approval.
- Do not rub your eyes.
Wear safety glasses or protective goggles when participating in sports, yard work, construction, or other activities that could injure your eyes.
- It is best to wear goggles that fully surround your eyes and touch your skin.
- This protective wear is especially important during work with high-velocity objects, such as hammering a nail or grinding metal.
- Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. Clean and wear contact lenses as directed. Never sleep in your contact lenses unless approved by your eye doctor.
- Try to flush it out with water. Splash the water so it drains toward the side of your head, not toward your nose and other eye.
- Do not rub your eye.
- Call your doctor.
American Academy of Ophthalmology http://www.aao.org/
American Optometric Association http://www.aoanet.org/
Canadian Association of Optometrists http://www.opto.ca/
Canadian Health Network http://www.canadian-health-network.ca/
Behrman RE, Kliegman R, Jenson HB. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 16th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
Corneal abrasion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 22, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Corneal abrasion. American Academy of Family Physician Familydoctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/corneal-abrasions.html . Updated December 2010. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Rosen R, Barkin R, Danzl DF. Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book, Inc; 1998.
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Turner A, Rabiu M. Patching for corneal abrasion. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . 2006;(2). No: CD004764. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004764.pub2.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012
- Update Date: 11/26/2012