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Corneal abrasions

Last reviewed: 25 Jun 2024
Last updated: 09 Jul 2024



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • eye pain
  • tearing
  • photophobia
  • blurred vision
  • ciliary flush
Full details

Other diagnostic factors

  • presence of foreign body
  • red reflex
  • corneal opacity
  • rust ring
  • blepharospasm
Full details

Risk factors

  • eye trauma
  • foreign body in the eye
  • contact lens use
  • working in the automobile industry
  • lack of protective eyewear
  • prior corneal abrasion
  • deployment of airbag during automobile collision
Full details

Diagnostic tests

1st tests to order

  • visual acuity
  • fluorescein staining
Full details

Tests to consider

  • CT scan of head and orbits
Full details

Treatment algorithm


acute corneal abrasion


recurrent corneal erosions or poor healing



Christopher McStay, MD
Christopher McStay

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

New York



CM declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Christopher Tedeschi, MD

Instructor in Clinical Medicine

Emergency Medicine Department

New York Presbyterian Hospital

Columbia University Medical Center

New York



CT declares that he has no competing interests.

Rasik Vajpayee, MD

Chair of Ophthalmology

Corneal and Cataract Surgery

University of Melbourne




RV declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Corneal abrasions images
  • Differentials

    • Conjunctivitis
    • Corneal laceration with globe perforation
    • Corneal ulceration and ulcerative keratitis
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • ​Cornea/external disease summary benchmarks - 2023
    • Corneal abrasion
    More Guidelines
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