Is there a difference between a scratched eye and a scratched cornea?

Published on
January 9, 2023

Corneal abrasions, or scratched corneas, are a common occurrence and make up a significant portion of eye injury cases. In fact, around 10% of emergency eye care is related to corneal abrasions.

A scratched eye, is another name for a corneal abrasion, it is a common and usually minor injury that occurs when something scratches the clear, protective layer that covers the front of the eye. 

Although a corneal abrasion is generally a minor injury it is important to get it seen right away in order to prevent infection. This is because the cornea is extremely important to our vision, the cornea is a  transparent layer at the front of the eye that helps focus light, and if it is damaged it can cause distorted vision. 

The cornea is one of the most sensitive parts of our body and you can usually tell if you scratched the cornea because of pain. A scratched eye or scratched cornea can cause pain, redness, and sensitivity to light. 

What causes a scratched eye?

A scratched eye can happen from a variety of causes, one of the most common causes is by a foreign object, such as a piece of dirt or a contact lens, getting into the eye and scratching the cornea. It can also be caused by rubbing the eye too hard or by accidentally poking the eye with a finger or other object. While most cases of scratches to the eye heal on their own it is always a good idea to visit our optometrist so that they can examine the scratch under a microscope and if needed provide treatment. 

Treatment may include antibiotics, special eye drops or ointments, specialized bandage contact lenses, and in rare cases, surgery.

Can a scratched eye or scratched cornea heal on its own?

In most cases, a scratched eye will heal on its own within a few days with proper treatment. If the pain is not subsiding, your vision is impacted, or you have symptoms that persist, you should schedule an emergency eye exam by calling us at (562) 925-6591. While most cases do not lead to any long term damage, it is important to make sure that the wound heals properly and does not cause infection or scarring, this is especially true if the scratch is deep. In the case of severe eye pain or vision impairment, visit our eye doctor as soon as possible.

Visit us at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach for an eye emergency

If you think you may have a scratched eye or scratched cornea, it is important to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Our eye doctor in Bellflower can diagnose and treat a scratched eye and scratched cornea, and help you preserve your vision. Call us at (562) 925-6591 if you suspect you have a scratched eye or a scratched cornea. Patients with eye emergencies like a scratched eye or a scratched cornea visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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