The cornea is the tissue at the front of eye that helps focus light. A corneal abrasion occurs when that tissue is cut or scratched.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help prevent a corneal abrasion:
Always use safety eye wear any time you're working with machines that expel wood, sawdust, metal, etc.
Cut your fingernails to avoid scratching your eye. Keep babies' and children's nails trimmed, as well.
Keep all tree and shrub branches, especially those at eye level, trimmed.
Be careful when putting contact lenses in your eyes. Make sure the lenses are cleaned properly each day, and never sleep with them.