When to seek medical attention for a scratched eye

What should you do if you scratch your eye? Schedule an emergency eye exam today! 

When to seek medical attention for a scratched eye in Olympia

If you have scratched your eye, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. While the majority of scratched eye cases do not cause permanent damage, even a small scratch can be very painful and can lead to serious complications if left untreated. You should schedule an appointment with our optometrist as soon as possible. Call us right away to schedule if you scratched your eye or are experiencing  any of the following symptoms: severe pain, excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, the feeling that something is in your eye, or vision changes. Additionally, if the scratch does not heal within a few days or if it becomes worse, you should promptly seek medical attention. Waiting to seek care can increase the risk of infection and can lead to scarring and vision loss. Remember that early detection and treatment are crucial for the best outcomes, so please don't hesitate to contact us at (360) 491-2121 if you have any concerns about your eye health.

American Family Vision Clinic

When should you see an eye doctor for a scratched eye?

If you have scratched your eye, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Here are some specific circumstances in which you should seek medical attention for a scratched eye:

  • If the scratch is deep or extends over a large area of the cornea, deep scratches can cause damage to the underlying layers of the cornea and may require treatment with antibiotics or other medications.
  • If you are experiencing severe pain, light sensitivity, or blurred vision in addition to the scratch, these symptoms can be signs of a more serious problem, such as an infection or inflammation.
  • If the scratch is located near the center of the cornea, the center of the cornea is responsible for most of your visual acuity, so any damage to this area can have a significant impact on your vision.
  • If you are not sure whether the scratch requires medical attention.
  • If you have any foreign object stuck in your eye, such as dirt, dust, or a small particle.
  • If you have an underlying eye condition, such as dry eye or an autoimmune disorder, that could increase your risk of complications from a scratched eye.
  • If the scratch is accompanied by other eye injuries, such as a cut on the eyelid or swelling around the eye.
  • If the scratch is a result of a chemical burn or exposure to a hazardous substance.
  • If you have any underlying health conditions that could affect the healing process, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to eye injuries, please call our office at (360) 491-2121 so that you can discuss the specifics about your scratch and receive instructions on the best course of action. Our optometrist can evaluate the scratch and determine the best course of treatment. Do not delay seeking medical attention, as scratched eyes can lead to serious complications if left untreated. To schedule an evaluation, please call (360) 491-2121.

Is a scratched eye common?

Each year, 300,000 people in the United States seek emergency medical attention for eye injuries sustained at work.  Scratched eye or corneal abrasions are particularly common in the workplace, for example US auto workers have an annual incidence of 15 per 1000 employees. In primary care clinics, eye complaints are responsible for 2% of visits and traumatic conditions, and foreign bodies are the reason for 8% of these visits.

Is a scratched eye common?
Is a scratched eye common?

Is a scratched eye common?

There are many ways in which you could scratch your eye at a workplace. Some common examples include:

  • Accidentally poking your eye with a tool or other object.
  • Getting dust, dirt, or other foreign particles in your eye.
  • Being hit in the eye with a flying object, such as a piece of debris or a tool.
  • Being splashed in the eye with a chemical or other hazardous substance.
  • Having eye contact with a strong irritant, such as paint fumes or cleaning agents.
  • Scratching your eye with sharp edges on equipment or machinery.
  • Being struck in the eye by a moving object, such as a conveyor belt or a forklift.
  • Being hit in the eye by a falling object, such as a box or a tool.
  • Getting debris or dust in your eye while working in a dirty or dusty environment.
  • Accidentally rubbing your eye with dirty or contaminated hands.
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Visit American Family Vision Clinic for a scratched eye, a leading provider of emergency eye care and medical eye care in Olympia

If you are in need of an eye doctor near you, look no further! Our team of experienced optometrists are here to provide you with the highest quality eye care. From routine eye exams to the treatment of eye injuries and diseases, we have you covered. To schedule an evaluation for a scratched eye, please call (360) 491-2121. Patients with eye injuries such as corneal abrasions visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of emergency eye care and medical 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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