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Cut or Scratched Eyes

It’s important to act quickly if you believe you’ve cut or scratched your eye to prevent any further damage.

What to Do if You’ve Scratched Your Eye?

  • DO visit your eye doctor or an urgent care facility as soon as possible.
  • DO rinse out small particles in the eye by flushing with water or saline before seeking medical attention.
  • DO NOT rub your eyes to avoid additional damage.
  • DO NOT attempt to remove any large object stuck in your eye. Lightly cover the area and seek medical attention immediately.

Call us right away at 847-955-9393 for assistance. Our optometrists are available for optical emergency visits 24/7. You can reach our optometrists after hours by calling the number provided on our voicemail. If you believe your situation is severe, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Common Situations Leading to Scratched Eyes

There are many causes for cut or scratched eyes—some less obvious than others. The symptoms can come on suddenly or appear to have no known cause. From accidents to poor eye hygiene, the following are common scenarios causing scratched eyes:

  • Accidently poking the eye with a finger, pen or makeup tool
  • Participating in sports or using tools without proper eye protection
  • Getting dirt, sand, ashes or chemicals in your eyes
  • Wearing contact lenses for too long or wearing contacts that are not properly cleaned
  • Excessive rubbing of the eyes

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A cut or scratch can happen to any part of the eye or eyelid. The visible white part of the eye is known as the sclera. The outer layer of this is the conjunctiva, which is virtually invisible to us. The cornea is a clear dome which covers and protects the iris (colored part of the eye) and pupil (black center of the iris). Cuts or scratches to the cornea are particularly painful.

Corneal abrasion symptoms often include:

  • The feeling of sand or grit in your eye, even if a foreign item has already been removed
  • Pain, especially when opening or closing the eye
  • Tearing and redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

Cuts and scratches can become infected or cause permanent damage or vision impairment, so it is important to seek medical attention for a proper assessment and treatment plan.

Our bodies are pretty good at keeping things out of our eyes. Our reflexes cause us to blink when something gets too close and the main purpose for eyelashes is to protect our eyes from small objects and floating or flying debris. Plus, our tears help flush out dust and small particles. While there is no way to completely protect yourself from an accidental scratch, there are practical ways to prevent injury to the eyes including scratches.

Avoid scratching your own eyes by following these tips:

  • Practice safe contact lens hygiene and follow your optometrist’s recommendations for cleaning.
  • If particles get into your eyes, do not rub to get them out. Flush eyes with water or saline and seek medical help.

Avoid scratches from high risk activities:

  • If you participate in competitive or recreational sports like baseball, basketball and racquet sports, you should wear protective eyewear designated for your sport by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Protective eyewear can often be prescription or non-prescription and will reduce the risk for impact injuries (including cuts and scratches) that commonly occur during these types of activities.
  • Use of tools or high-powered equipment at home or work can also put you at high risk for eye scratches. Wear proper safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris from saws, nail guns and lawnmowers or leaf blowers. Eyeglasses and sunglasses do not provide sufficient protection.

Your Long Grove Resource

The optometrists at Forsight Vision are fully prepared to help you if you’ve experienced a scratched eye, pink eye symptoms or corneal abrasion. We’re just a short drive from neighboring towns like Arlington Heights, Deerfield, Hawthorn Woods, Lincolnshire and Vernon Hills. We can also help fit you with protective eyewear so you can avoid an emergency trip for an eye injury. Call us at 847-955-9393 for more information or to request an appointment. If you are calling after hours, special instructions are provided on our voicemail so you can receive proper medical treatment as quickly as possible from us or a nearby urgent care center.