Scratched Eyeballs?!?!

I have been having an issue for the last couple years with getting scratched eyeballs during rides. I wear large sunglass that thoroughly cover my eye area while riding, and have used several different options.

At this point, I feel like I can pretty clearly rule out debris getting in my eyes as the issue. I’ve had it on all sorts of rides, including road rides with little to no wind and good air quality.

My eyes (cornea) about 2-3 times per year will get a scratch that is SUPER irritating for 4-5 days. Has anybody else experienced this issue? I am wondering if maybe it’s salt from sweating? I am a sweaty rider and a salty sweater.


Maybe it’s not a scratch, but an irritated blood vessel?

Or maybe you scratch it. In which case, put some mitts on like they do with babies to stop them from scratching themselves. :slight_smile:

Oooo. Maybe. It does seem to be mostly on hard rides.

Know of any solutions to irritated blood vessels? Other than to get in better shape…

why are you asking an internet forum for advice on your eyeballs?


I am asking a cycling community if anyone has experienced a similar issue. If it were a medical issue, I wouldn’t be here…


We all know that ophthalmologists are the third fastest group of riders "ist"s behind dent(ist) and optometr(ist)… Free medical advice for we premium and co-paying Americans shouldn’t be mocked. We should mock those with better TT bikes than we have… The "ist"s!

But yea, if its an issue, talk to the guy who specializes in eyes, not the internet.

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Yes - I’ve had scratched eyeballs! Most recent was last year. Serious enough to warrant a visit to the national eye hospital A&E dept. They confirmed a fairly deep scratch and it took a couple of weeks to fully recover.

It’s usually caused by grit caught beneath a contact lens, in spite of wearing the fullest coverage cycling glasses I can find. Much more likely to happen when it’s windy.

I’ve seen plenty in the emergency dept. You need to know what it actually is, otherwise you might be guessing wrong. If you start with a wrong diagnosis (hypothesis), you’ll hardly get the right solution.

I have had this a few times. In my case, it was caused by wearing (soft) contact lenses on dry eyes. When I notice that my eyes are dry I now remove the lenses as soon as possible or at least apply eyedrops. I’m also more careful now when removing the lenses: I think that removing the lens too quickly can damage the cornea if there is no liquid layer separating lens and cornea.

I scratched my cornea last year, rubbing my eyes after a sea swim. It was the most painful and scary injury i’ve ever had. You’d know if you had done that. And so would the specialist eye doctor you’d now be talking to (because you couldn’t see clearly to type onto a forum)

What you have might be dry eyes. I’ve noticed on the trainer that sitting in the hurricane blast from my fans gives me sore eyes so i’ve cured it by tilting the fans lower and it’s fixed the problem. It could be that your glasses have the effect of guiding a constant blast of wind across your eyes.

Try different glasses and see if that helps. I also use eye drops a fair amount as “dry eye” seems to be one of those many middle aged things that we have to suffer.

It doesn’t have to be the cornea, he could have a scratched conjunctiva which could be functional though uncomfortable and/or painful. Operating word being “could” as he should be examined.