Corneal Abrasion

Corneal abrasion is caused by scratch to the surface of the eye and is usually due to fingernail, paper, contact lens, comb or hairbrush, leaf or branch of a plant or a foreign body. 


  • Discomfort or pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Watering or tearing
  • Difficulty to open the eye


Any foreign body needs to be removed by your eye doctor.  The abrasion or scratch usually takes between 4-10 days to heal depending on the size and depth of the damage.

  • You may need to wear an eye patch to help with the healing for the first 1-3 days and to make it more comfortable (Sometimes, a contact lens is applied by your doctor to reduce the discomfort)
  • You need to apply eye ointment (or eyedrops) during the healing period to prevent infection and to make the eye feel more comfortable (your eye doctor will inform you of the exact schedule)
  • Do wear sunglasses to reduce the light sensitivity
  • Reading or looking at the computer will be more difficult as it can be uncomfortable
  • Avoid swimming or any water sports until the eye has healed fully

Click to watch Tasmania Eye Clinic on How to Apply an Eye Patch


Most corneal abrasions heal without any problems and the vision recovers well.  It is important to prevent the abrasion from getting infected to prevent scar formation.  There is a risk of a recurrent tear on the cornea surface called Recurrent Erosion.  This usually occurs in the morning when you first wake up and open your eye.  You may need to apply a lubricant eye ointment every night before sleep to reduce the risk of recurrent erosion for up to 6-12 months.

Rarely, cornea abrasions or erosions which do not heal well may required epithelial debridement or laser treatment to encourage better healing.

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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