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Corneal Abrasion (cont.)

Corneal Abrasion Causes

  • A corneal abrasion may occur when something hits your eye. For example, while hiking, if the person in front of you pushes and lets go of a tree branch, it could hit your eye, causing an abrasion to the cornea.


  • A corneal injury may occur when something gets into your eye, for example, when the wind blows a dried leaf particle into your eye or when paint chips fall into your eye while you are scraping off old paint. This material may scratch the cornea.


  • A foreign body, such as a piece of sand or wood, may lodge under the inside of the upper lid and cause scratches of the corneal surface every time that you blink.


  • In addition to causing corneal injury, high-speed particles may penetrate your eye and injure deeper structures. An example of this would be a small metal fragment flying into the eye when a person is using a grinding wheel without protective eyewear. This may cause a serious injury that demands immediate medical attention to guard against permanent loss of vision.


  • A hot cigarette ash flying into the eye may cause a corneal abrasion.


  • A common cause of a corneal abrasion is a young child accidentally poking you in the eye with her fingernail.


  • You may cause a corneal abrasion when you rub your eyes excessively when they are irritated.


  • Wearing contact lenses longer than recommended may injure the corneal surface and cause a corneal abrasion.


  • Certain eye infections may also cause injury to the surface of the cornea. This injury, although not technically considered a corneal abrasion, may be temporary or permanent.


  • Exposure of the unprotected eye to ultraviolet light from sun lamps or welding arcs can cause changes in the corneal surface resembling corneal abrasions.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Corneal Abrasion »

Corneal abrasion is probably the most common eye injury and perhaps one of the most neglected.

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