Corneal Abrasion

What is a corneal abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a scratch of the cornea of the eye. It can occur from rubbing the eye, a foreign body in the eye or dry eye syndrome. It can also be associated with a severe allergic or infectious pink eye (conjunctivitis).


What are the symptoms of a corneal abrasion?

The symptoms of a corneal abrasion include tearing, sensitivity to light, redness and eye discomfort. At times, the discomfort can be severe.


Is a corneal abrasion contagious?

No, it is not.


What is the treatment for corneal abrasion?

If there is no associated foreign body, treatment may consist of applying a topical antibiotic ointment or drop to the eye several times a day. The ointment may reduce the risk of infection while the abrasion heals. It also covers the abrasion, making it more comfortable while it heals. A dilation eye drop is sometimes prescribed to make the patient more comfortable. Corneal abrasions typically heal very quickly, usually in 1-3 days.


What are the risks of corneal abrasion?

Infection of the cornea of greatest concern. It does not happen very often, however. Corneal scarring is another concern. But it is also very rare. A repeated corneal abrasion is possible. This is most common when the scratch or cut is caused by a fingernail, a paper cut or something similar. There are several effective treatments for recurrent erosions.