Corneal abrasions are little scratches on the cornea of the eye. They are usually caused as a result from trauma (injury) to the surface of the eye. Common causes include poking of the eye, quick movements close to the eye, and getting dust in the eye, especially if the eye is then rubbed.  Injuries can also be caused by contact lens insertion and removal.


Tree branches or plants, paper, makeup brushes, pets, sudden move close to the eye, dust or debris, sports equipment are common causes of corneal abrasion. 


  • Pain
  • Gritty feeling
  • Tearing
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to the light
  • Headache


Treatment for corneal abrasion generally includes a thorough examination of your eye and lids, to check for any trapped foreign body or grit and ensure there is no serious eye injury, followed by drops or ointment and, sometimes, an eye patch. If you are given an eye patch, you will need to keep it on for 12 to 24 hours; if this becomes uncomfortable, you may take it off and wear sunglasses as a replacement. 

You should also note the following:

  • You may take ordinary pain killers, such as paracetamol, to help with the pain
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eye
  • If you wear contact lenses, don’t use them until your eye is completely healed; you need to see your contact lens practitioner after finishing treatment for your abrasion before you wear your contact lenses again

If you are asked to use drops or ointments, please follow these steps:

  • Lie down, or lean your head back, and look up
  • Use a clean finger to gently pull down your lower eyelid to create a pocket
  • If you are using eye drops, gently squeeze them into the pocket you have created, not directly onto your eye
  • If you are using ointment, apply a small strip into the pocket
  • Blink to spread the medication over your eye