Skip to main content

Leaflet: Corneal Abrasion

What is a corneal abrasion?

The cornea is commonly known as the window of the eye and covers the coloured part of the eye. An abrasion is a scratch of the cornea. Unlike a scratch on the skin, it is usually very painful.

What treatment will I need?

The treatment that you will be given is aimed at ensuring that the abrasion heals as quickly as possible and that it does not become infected.

Initially, some antibiotic ointment will be instilled and in some cases eye drops dilate your pupil, this will cause the vision to be blurred temporarily.

A firm eye pad may be applied in certain cases, depending on the severity of the situation.


When wearing the eye pad your eye should always remain closed. You will also be advised not to drive or to use machinery as your judgement of distances will be affected.

How long does the abrasion take to heal?

If the treatment is followed correctly, healing will take place within 24– 36 hours and discomfort will subside as the cornea heals.

If you experience any lasting discomfort in the eye in future, you should return to Minor Injuries Department for further assessment or see your GP.

Recurrent Abrasions

A small number of people do not heal properly after an abrasion and can wake up in the morning with a painful eye.

In most cases the pain goes quickly but if the pain persists, we would advise you to come back for further treatment.

Experience and Complaints Team

Sirona’s Experience and Complaints Team provides

on-the-spot help, advice and support to service users, relatives or carers. The Experience and Complaints Team is here to help anyone who has a query about Sirona and doesn’t know where to find the answer.

We also want to hear about your experience with Sirona, however good our services are, we know there is always room for improvement and those who use our services are the best to give us that feedback.

Our commitment to you in every contact we have with you is we will:

• Treat you with respect

• Treat your query seriously and do our utmost to put it right as quickly as possible

• Respect your confidentiality

• Keep you informed about what is going on

• Ensure that your care is not affected because of your query.

How to get in touch

Write to:

Experience and Complaints Team Manager

Sirona care and health

2nd Floor, Kingswood Civic Centre

High Street



BS15 9TR


Telephone: 0300 124 5400

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.

Date of creation: April 2019
Date of review: April 2021
URN: 119