Deep Cut in the Eye

If you have experienced a deep cut in the eye, make sure to take the proper precautions detailed below and then please consult with your eye doctor to receive the fitting diagnosis and treatment. If you are unable to get through to our office at (360) 491-2121 , please visit an emergency room or urgent care facility without delay. 

Deep Cut in the Eye in Olympia

While some eye injuries could be very minor, others may be traumatic. Major eye injuries like deep cuts in the eye can lead to temporary or permanent vision loss. Eye injuries could happen in any type of environment, including at home, at work or during recreational activities. 

A corneal laceration is the medical name for a deep cut in the front part of the eye known as the cornea. The cornea is the clear part which covers the surface of the eye. This condition is more severe than a corneal abrasion which is a small cut in the eye. A laceration could cut partially or fully through the cornea and if it’s deep enough it could cause a cut in the eyeball itself, as opposed to just on the superficial part of the eye. Corneal lacerations require immediate medical care, otherwise you risk permanent loss of vision.

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In case you get an eye injury, the following things should be done immediately:

  • Cover the eye for protection
  • Take a paper cup and cut out the bottom of it. Use this piece as a cover for the eye
  • Tape the piece around the eye for protection, until you receive medical help
  • Seek emergency care 

It is important to note that there are a number of things that should not be done after you cut your eye:

  • Do not rinse with water
  • Do not attempt to remove the object that may be stuck in the eye
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Do not put pressure on your eyes
  • Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or anti-inflammatory drugs

If you take any medications listed above, it might cause the thinning of the blood and lead to a higher amount of bleeding than usual. Visit your eye doctor immediately or go to an emergency room to get the condition treated right away. Delays can lead to permanent damage to the eye.

Causes of Corneal Laceration

The leading causes of corneal laceration are listed as follows:

  • Engagement in activities where there are flying objects in the environment that can hit your eye at high speed
  • Activities like grinding of metal, cutting wood, grass trimming and stone carving 
  • Hazards in the workplace
  • Attempts to take objects out yourself, leading to a deeper cut in the eye


The symptoms that one experiences from a deep cut in the eye depend on the severity and location of the cut, in addition to the cause of the injury. Some typical symptoms include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Non-stop tearing
  • Decreased vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Foreign body sensation in eye
  • Bleeding or fluid coming from the eye
Causes of Corneal Laceration
Diagnosis of a Corneal Laceration

Diagnosis of a Corneal Laceration

An eye doctor should be consulted immediately, if you are showing any symptoms of a corneal laceration. The first thing your eye doctor would do is conduct an eye examination to know the extent of the eye injury. It is important to identify if the corneal laceration is partial or full thickness depending on the depth. 

A slit lamp which is a microscope used to observe the front surface of the eye is typically used to diagnose the corneal laceration. In some cases, numbing drops are used to do a proper examination and to prevent pain during the process. Fluorescein eye stain may also be used to check out the condition. A temporary yellow-orange dye is placed on the cornea and a blue filter is used to highlight the dye which displays the extent of the damage caused to the cornea.

Diagnosis of a Corneal Laceration


When you get a small scrape or cut in the eye, the injury is minor and tends to heal by itself over time. However, if the cuts are too deep, you might need surgery with stitches to make sure the eye heals properly. The surgery helps close the laceration and prevents infection. The requirement of stitches mainly depends on the depth of the cut and its location. After surgery, you may be given an eye patch to help your eye heal and your doctor will prescribe any necessary medications.


It is strongly recommended to buy protective eyewear to reduce the probability of eye injuries. If you are engaged in household projects or any other activity that can lead to corneal laceration, you should protect your eye in the best possible manner. 

When the smallest particles come towards the eye with high force, they can cause a cut in the eye. Examples include dust, sand, small pieces of metal, dirt or the edge of a piece of paper. Using protective eyewear can prevent the majority of corneal lacerations. If you are engaged in any activities that cause risk to the eyes, it is strongly recommended to wear suitable protective gear to prevent any damage.

Common Questions

A corneal abrasion is merely a scratch on the surface of the cornea but a corneal laceration is a deep cut. Whether you have a corneal abrasion or a corneal laceration, it is typical to experience sensitivity to light, squinting, redness in the eye, pain and a sensation of a foreign particle in the eye. In addition to other symptoms which exist in the case of a laceration, the extent of the pain would be more severe in a corneal laceration when compared to an abrasion. A corneal abrasion is usually a result of a minor scratch caused by various factors like a fingernail scratching the eye while applying or removing contact lenses. It could also be due to a foreign particle or body in the eye. If you have a particle in your eyes like dust or sand, you might rub your eye continuously and this could lead to an abrasion. On the other hand, a corneal laceration is much deeper than a corneal abrasion. It is mainly caused by a forceful impact on the eye, a high-speed flying object touching the eye or a strike in the eye. Corneal lacerations can be caused by a cut that involves force. It can be easily prevented with the use of protective eyewear even when you are doing heavy work at home, like metal grinding, wood cutting etc. Preserve your vision by reaching out to the nearest hospital when you have a corneal laceration. Protect your eye with a patch and get immediate treatment for the corneal laceration. The treatment would typically include eye surgery to remove a foreign object if relevant and to prevent vision loss.
Be aware of potential risks to your eyes, depending on your surroundings and the activities you are engaged in. If there is any risk of damage to your eyes, be sure to wear the proper protection. Goggles and other protective gear can prevent major injuries to the eyes.
An eye injury such as a corneal laceration must be treated immediately in order to prevent a permanent loss of vision. Infection of the eye may also occur without proper treatment. Following immediate treatment for a corneal laceration, follow-up visits are essential in order to prevent complications, including retinal detachment or glaucoma. If you have a deep cut in your eye, or your eye is bleeding, please call our office, visit an emergency room, or see an ophthalmologist right away. If you are unsure if your wound is deep enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room, call our office at (360) 491-2121 for guidance.
Deep Cut in the Eye
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Deep cuts in the eye can occur for various reasons and are typically the result of a high impact force on the eye. If you have experienced a deep cut, be sure to seek immediate care from an eye doctor or go to a nearby emergency room if the eye doctor is unavailable. Only a professional healthcare worker can help treat this injury and preserve your vision from further damage. You can schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor by calling (360) 491-2121. Patients with eye emergencies visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of urgent eye care for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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