A scratched eyeball can happen for a number of reasons. When the eye is scratched, the pain may be present and the patient may also experience blurred vision. Treatment is going to depend on the cause of the problem, but for the most part, it can be treated using antibiotics.
The cornea is the clear film covering the eye and it is often the part referred to when a patient has a scratched eyeball. This part of the eye works by refracting lights. Since it is the first layer of the eye, it is vulnerable to scratches.
Some of the most common reasons for a scratched eyeball include:
- Injury. This can include the accidental poking of the eye by a sharp object or by the patient’s fingernails.
- Foreign Body. This can include dust, wood splinters, glass, and other foreign body that can get trapped in the folds of the eyelids. As this foreign body is moved over the surface of the eye, it can scratch the eye.
- Contact Lens Misuse. Problems here include using damaged or dirty contacts. Using the lens for prolonged periods can also lead to scratches, so is rubbing the eye while the contact lenses are on.
Scratched Eyeball Symptoms
- Eye Redness
- Eye Irritation
- Blurred Vision
- Increased Sensitivity to Light
- Pain; this can be constant or it can also only occur with eye movement or with blinking.
- Eye Discharge
- Uncomfortable Feeling of the Eye; some patients report getting a gritty feeling when they blink.
Scratched Eyeball Treatment
Determining the cause of the condition can help prevent future problems. Treatment is going to involve the following:
- Antibacterial Drops or Ointments. These are given as a prophylaxis if an infection is not yet present. If the scratched eye is already infected, these are used to treat it.
- Anti-inflammatory Drugs/Corticosteroid Drops. These are going to help to relieve the swelling caused by the injury.
- Pain Medication. This can be given orally or as eye drops.
- Temporary Eye Patch. Worn for 24 to 48 hours following the injury, this allows the eye to rest. This may not be necessary for all cases.
- No contact lenses for up to two weeks following the injury, this is going to allow the eye enough rest.
The cornea is self-repairing, especially when there has been a clean scratch. However, in rare cases when the scratch is deep, an ophthalmologist may have to put in a few stitches to help close the gap.