A poke in the eye may result in a scratched or scraped cornea called a corneal abrasion, according to WebMD. The cornea is the clear covering of the eye that protects the iris and pupil. A corneal abrasion can cause pain and affect vision.
A corneal abrasion can occur if the eye is poked by a finger or harmed by dirt, ash, sand or any other foreign material caught under the eyelid. Symptoms of a corneal abrasion, which include pain, headache, sensitivity to light and blurry vision, can appear immediately but are sometimes delayed hours after the initial damage, explains the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
If you experience a scratched cornea, rinse your eye with clean water or saline solution. Rinsing the eye can flush out a foreign object. Blinking repeatedly can also remove small particles of sand, ash or dust. Pulling the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid may allow the eyelashes to remove foreign objects. Wearing sunglasses helps relieve the discomfort from light sensitivity. Refrain from rubbing or touching the eye, as it can worsen the abrasion. If you see something in your eye, refrain from attempting to remove it. Although a corneal abrasion may heal on its own, WebMD and the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggest seeing a doctor or going to the emergency room.