A scratched eye can be painful and irritating, but with some simple self-care, you can minimize the discomfort and help your cornea heal.
Scratched eyes are commonly caused by contact with dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings, metal particles, or contact lenses. They can also occur from playing sports or working in the yard.
The cornea is the clear, protective layer at the front of your eye that allows light to enter the eye and helps you see clearly. A scratch on the cornea can cause pain, tearing, and loss of vision.
The best way to minimize pain is not to sleep on the side of your injured eye. Instead, try sleeping on your back or the other side of your face to avoid putting pressure on your injured eye and to minimize the chance of further irritating it.
Blink frequently and pull your upper eyelid over your lower eyelid - Blinking can help flush out small pieces of dirt or sand in the scratched eye. Additionally, pulling your upper eyelid over your lower one can induce more tears that can wash away the foreign object that was in your eye.
Use saline solution or clean water to rinse your eye. This is best done with an eyecup--an emergency eye care device that's usually included in first aid kits--or a small, clean glass resting on the bone at the base of your eye socket, below your lower eyelid.