What to Do When You Have a Scratched Eye: Emergency Eye Care Tips

17 January 2024
 Categories: , Blog


An eye scratch or abrasion, also known as corneal abrasion, can happen to anyone and can cause immense discomfort. It can occur due to a foreign object in the eye, a fingernail scratch, or even a small bug. When left untreated, scratches can further damage the eye and lead to serious eye infections and vision loss. Therefore, it is essential to know what to do when you have a scratched eye. This blog post discusses some emergency eye care tips for scratched eyes that can help save your vision.

Immediately Rinse Your Eye with Saline Solution or Water

The first thing you should do when you have a scratched eye is to rinse it immediately with saline solution or water. Flushing can help remove any foreign material that may have lodged in the eye and reduce the risk of infection. Use a cup or a clean container to rinse the eye for several minutes. Be very cautious when rubbing your eye, as this can cause more damage.

Seek Medical Help

If your eye continues to hurt after rinsing, seek emergency medical attention right away. Avoid rubbing or touching your eye, as this can cause further damage and worsen the symptoms. Your eye doctor may put a special ointment or eye patch to help relieve the discomfort and prevent infection. They may also prescribe antibiotic eye drops to prevent bacterial infections.

Use Over-The-Counter Painkillers

If the pain from your scratched eye is unbearable, you can take over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. These medications can provide relief from pain and swelling and reduce inflammation. However, seek medical advice before using any medication if you are not sure about the dosage.

Protect Your Eye

To prevent further straining of your injured eye, wear an eye patch or a protective shield that your doctor may purchase. The shield can deflect light, keeping your eye in the dark and reducing pain. You can also wear sunglasses to minimize the exposure of your injured eye to sunlight, as bright light can irritate your eye.

Prevent Future Injuries

Scratched eyes are preventable. If you work in a hazardous environment, wear protective eyewear to avoid scratches and foreign objects from entering your eye. Avoid using substances like cleaning solutions, bleach, or paint near your eye. Use safety goggles when cutting metal, wood, or any material that may fly and injure your eye. By taking preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of eye scratches and protect your vision.

A scratched eye requires immediate attention and proper care to avoid further damage and prevent infection. Rinse your eye with saline solution or water as soon as you can when you have a scratched eye. Afterward, seek medical attention to prevent any further damage and receive treatment. Use over-the-counter painkillers, protect your eyes, and take preventive measures to avoid future injuries. Don't forget, your eyes are precious, and proper care and attention can help you save your vivid view of life.

Contact an emergency eye care professional to learn more.