Corneal Abrasions Symptoms & Causes

In-Depth

What is a corneal abrasion?

A corneal abrasion is a scratch or injury to the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. This is a very common occurrence in children.

What causes a corneal abrasion?

There are many things that can cause an abrasion to the cornea. The more common causes include:

  • foreign bodies in the eye (such as dirt, pebbles or insects)
  • a scratch from a toy or fingernail
  • contact lenses in older children

When these objects have contact with the surface of the eye, a small abrasion can occur.

What are the symptoms of a corneal abrasion?

Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the most common symptoms of a corneal abrasion are:

  • pain in the affected eye
  • tearing in the affected eye
  • pain when the child looks at a light
  • excessive blinking in the affected eye
  • a tendency to try and hold the affected eye shut, particularly in younger children

Because the symptoms of a corneal abrasion may resemble other eye conditions or medical problems, you should always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.