A corneal abrasion is a superficial scratch on the clear, protective "window" at the front of your eye, the cornea. Your cornea can be scratched (abraded) by contact with fingernails, cosmetic applicators, dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings, metal particles, or even the edge of a piece of paper. Corneal abrasions caused by plant matter (such as a pine needle) usually require special attention as they can cause a delayed inflammation inside the eye (iritis). Left untreated, corneal abrasions could become infected and result in a corneal ulcer. Contact our office for immediate medical attention if you have a cornea abrasion.