Something blows into your eyes might trigger scratched eye, which causes pain either right away or some hours later. Common symptoms of this problem—referred also as corneal abrasion include pain, tear overproduction, sensitivity to light, and squinting. Corneal abrasions can be caused by variety of things, including accidental pokes to the eye, foreign objects, and accidents. When the injury to the cornea is severe, you might experience temporary blurred vision. Severe corneal abrasions may require medical attention, while the light one can always be treated at home if you do not have immediate access to the professionals.
Getting foreign objects out of the eye
Foreign objects which are blown into the eyes are the most frequent causes of corneal abrasions—the scratches to the cornea. If the objects can be extracted from the eyes—it does not cause severe injuries and is not sharp enough to cause further damages, you can do the self-care at home. Some steps include:
- Remove contact lenses if you are wearing ones before getting any objects out of the eye.
- You can try to see where the object is located on your transparent surface of the eye by pulling out the lower eyelid.
- Rinse your eye with either tap water or saline solution used for contact lenses. You might need a lot of water to do this attempt. Running water works best as it gives a light pressure to the eyes, helping rinsing the debris out.
- Lean over the tap or fountain and keep the eye open to get the object removed.
- Blink several times to feel the effect.
- If the debris is still in the eye surface, repeat the rinsing step.
- If the debris cannot be removed using merely water, try to get it out using the tip of a cotton swab or smooth tissue, without touching the eye surface itself.
- Evaluate the location of the debris by pulling put either the upper or lower eyelid.
- Put the swab or tissue on the debris and take it off the eye without touching the cornea.
- Once the object is extracted, rinse the eye with saline solution and wipe it dry.
- Larger or sharp objects penetrating the eyes should not be removed without medical care. See a doctor if you experience:
- Not-easily-accessed debris—you cannot see it clearly and easily, or the object cannot be removed using a cotton swab or tissues.
- Continuous pain after the object is removed.
Scratched eye home treatments
After getting the debris out of the eye, your scratched eye may need further treatments as it might get swollen or reddened. Some home remedies will work for the majority of scratched eye problems.
- Blinking frequently. This is an important remedy, since it will help flushing out small particles which is left in the eye. Blinking also lubricates the eye, reviving it from irritation.
- Cold compress. This remedy works well for a scratched eye which is followed by swollen eyelid. Put a cold compress onto the affected eye for several minutes until it gets down.
- Wear sunglasses. Scratched eye is commonly sensitive to the light. Hence, wearing sunglasses will be helpful. Not only it will protect the eye from excessive sunlight, but also prevent other debris from getting into the eye. These will also prevent your attempt of rubbing the eye, which may result in another scratched eye incident.
- Avoid rubbing the eye. Scratched eye is not only painful, but also itchy. It will trigger you to rub it. However, rubbing the eye will not remove the pain and lessen the itching. Instead, it will make it worse. Hence, avoid rubbing scratched eye under any circumstances. To lessen the itching, you can put on a warm compress on the affected eye for several minutes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses. During healing process, contact lenses should not be wore, as these might cause worse abrasion to the cornea. Only wear contact lenses when the scratched eye is fully healed. Before that, rinse the eye with saline solution to lessen the red eye, itching, and pain caused by the corneal abrasion.