The retina is the inner part of the eye, which is sensitive to light. The term ‘scratched retina’ most likely refers to a scratched eyeball or a scratched cornea. This can occur for a number of reasons, but is mostly due to an injury or the presence of a foreign body.
The cornea is the clear covering of the eyes which refracts light. It is the first external layer of the eyes, which can make it susceptible to injuries. In eye surgeries (i.e. laser lens reshaping, cataract removal), a flap is created in the patient’s cornea to give access to the underlying structures.
Some of the possible causes of a scratched cornea include:
- Foreign Body Trapped in the Eyelid. It can be organic, dust, or a piece of glass. As the eyelid opens and closes and as the eye moves, the foreign object can get dragged through the surface of the cornea causing scratches.
- Injury. A sharp object or the patient’s fingernail may accidentally scratch the eye.
- Improper Contact Lens Use. When patients overuse a pair of lenses or when they use dirty or damaged lenses, they open the eye up to the possibility of injury.
Scratched Retina Symptoms
Here are the most common symptoms associated with a scratched cornea:
- Eye Irritation. Patients often report the sensation of having something gritty in their eye despite having the foreign object already removed.
- Eye Tearing. Increased tearing may be present and patients may discover that their eyelids have been crusted shut overnight as a result of the excessive tearing.
- Photophobia or sensitivity to light
Scratched Retina Home Remedies
Expected treatment methods for a scratched cornea include the following:
- Antibacterial Drops or Ointments. These are often given as a prophylaxis to help prevent an infection.
- Pain and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Rest. Keeping the eye covered or avoiding activities that can cause eye strain is necessary in order to give the eye time to heal.
- Glasses Instead of Lenses for Up to a Week or Two. This will also give the cornea a chance to heal itself. Proper lens use should be implemented when use is resumed.
Foreign Body in Eye First Aid
- Do not scratch the eye. This can only increase the likelihood of a scratch.
- Wash eye out with a saline solution or with a specialized wash. This is done to flush out any foreign body from the eye.
If flushing the eye does not work, it may be necessary for the patient to get an ophthalmologist to check the eye out.