The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. It covers the iris (the colored portion of the eye) and the round pupil. The cornea is composed of five layers. The outermost layer is called the epithelium.
Injuries to the epithelium, such as scratches, cuts, or scrapes, are known as corneal abrasions. Usually, these injuries are caused by fingernail scratches, makeup brushes, paper cuts, or rubbing of the eyes. Sometimes conditions like dry eye can cause abrasions. Symptoms associated with corneal abrasions include tearing, redness, pain, soreness, and blurred vision.
Treatment options for corneal abrasions include patching the injured eye, dilating pupils to relieve pain, wearing special contact lenses that promote healing, taking antibiotics to prevent infection, and using lubricating eyedrops.
Minor abrasions usually heal within a day or two, while larger abrasions take about a week.