Thank you for writing to JustAnswer Health.
You likely scratched your cornea, the clear skin like layer of your eye. The eye is extrememly sensitive as you know. The best treatment for this is to rest the eye. I'll explain how to do this below. This is because if you are watching TV or reading you are moving the eye quickly. It is also easy to rub the injured eye in your sleep. It may itch while it is healing. The cornea can begin to heal quickly, but the delicate tissue that heals is a microscopic scap, and is easily continuously knocked off it you do not rest your eye in the first 48 hours. This can possibly lead to scarring and infection.
To rest the eye properly you will want to patch the eye for 24 to 48 hours. You may buy an oval shaped gauze eye patche in any drug store. You can make your own out of regular gauze too. You will also need what is called paper tape, and usually you just need to place one long length of tape from the inside of the eyebrow (the part of the forehead inbetween the eyebrows actually) across to the apple area of your cheek to hold the patch securely in place. You should wear this while sleeping too.
Use only saline eye drops. These are the kind that say "Eye wash" drops - Bausch and Lomb makes them and there are generic brands as well. Use this to rinse the eye (it is good anytime to use when something gets into the eye) - it will rinse out any particles and is also good for those that have allergies to pollen or animal dander to use once or twice per day. Do not touch the tip to anything. You want to keep the tip sterile.
You could also use an artificial tear drup product if it seems soothing.
Do not use visine. Visine has an ingredient that constricts the vessels - that means blood cannot get to the scratch to help heal it. It does "get the red out" but is not good for the eye. Most eye docs recommend never using Visine or similar products. It also dries the eye out and can lead to additional problems.
If you wear contacts, please see your eye doctor. Usually one will need to go without the contacts for at least two weeks or longer to allow the eye to heal. Your doctor usually would prefer to make that decision for you.
If you believe you have already gotten an infection please go in for prescription antibiotics.
If you have any questions, please reply.
Edited by Susan Ivy on 9/26/2009 at 12:37 AM EST