Corneal Abrasion

Corneal abrasion is a serious eye injury that requires diagnosis and treatment by an ophthalmologist. If you’re in the Wichita area and you suspect you have one, call our office at 316-264-8932 to be seen by Dr. Cohlmia.

What is Corneal Abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a scrape or scratch on the surface of the cornea of the eye. The cornea has many more pain receptors than our skin, so this is a painful condition for most people.

Common Causes

  • Fingernail scratches
  • Makeup brushes
  • Tree branches
  • Extremely dry eyes
  • Excessive rubbing of the eye
  • Extended contact lens wear

Corneal Abrasion Symptoms

If you have a corneal abrasion, your eyes may be painful, red, watery and feel sensitive to light. Your vision may be blurred or hazy. You may also feel like something is stuck in your eye.

What to Do if You Think You Have a Corneal Abrasion

  • Contact your ophthalmologist right away
  • Don’t rub your eye
  • Don’t use over-the-counter eye drops
  • Don’t wear your contacts
  • Don’t touch anything to your eye


Dr. Cohlmia will put fluorescein dye on the surface of your eye to highlight any cuts or scratches on the cornea. Then, he’ll examine your eye with an instrument called a slit lamp to look for an abrasion.

Corneal Abrasion Treatment

After examining your cornea, Dr. Cohlmia will recommend the best course of treatment, which could include:

  • Putting a patch on the affected eye to prevent blinking
  • Using ointment or moisturizing eye drops to soothe the cornea
  • Prescribing antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent infection
  • Providing eye drops to widen or dilate the pupil and relieve pain
  • Recommending a special contact lens that will speed healing and reduce pain

What to Do While a Corneal Abrasion Heals

A small corneal abrasion should heal in a day or two; a larger one may heal in about a week. During this time, avoid rubbing the affected eye. This can make the cut or scratch worse and slow healing. In addition, don’t wear your contact lenses until your ophthalmologist tells you it’s okay to do so.

How to Protect Your Corneas

  • Wear safety glasses or goggles when doing yard work, trimming trees or cutting metal or wood
  • Keep babies’ and children’s fingernails trimmed so they don’t accidentally scratch their corneas
  • Use caution when applying eye makeup and mascara
  • Follow the care and wear instructions if you wear contact lenses
Wichita Scratched Cornea Treatment

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