How chemical can injure your eyes

Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Dr. Saqib Mueed

As many people could have chemical exposure to either acid or alkali agents that can burn or harm the surface of the eye including the cornea can interfere with vision this is known as a chemical eye injury. Chemical eye injury may occur in domestic industrial and military sectors. The chemical eye injury due to alkali is very harmful as compared to acidic burns to the eye.

The reason behind that the alkali has a greater ability to penetrate the affected eye so that is why liquefactive necrosis is caused by alkali. On the other hand, coagulative necrosis occurs when an eye is countered with strong acid. Because in acid burn acid impedes his own progress. but a very acidic solution may react as alkali.

The prognostic factor of the chemical eye injury

In the prognostic factor of chemical eye injury, the most important is the PH of the chemical that causes injury and duration of contact of chemical with the eye.

Features of chemical eye injury

There are some following features of chemical eye burn that must be kept in mind if chemical eye injuries happened

  •     Conjunctival injection or blanching chemosis, hemorrhage, epithelial defects
  •     Corneal epitheliopathy, punctate to complete loss, edema of the cornea, ischemia of                  perilimbal reaction of the anterior chamber
  •     Raising of intra- ocular press
  •     Retinopathy of necrotic
  •     Eyelids burn and associated facial burn

Chemical burn-in eye with contact lens 

Chemical burn with contact lenses in the eye is much more lethal or dangerous. Chemicals may form a circle or ring around the cornea of the eye. Vapors of chemicals that affect the eye may accumulate inside the eye and will cause several damages to the eye.

Management during chemical eye injury

There are the following managements in chemical eye injury .these are:

  1.     Early management
  2.     Effective management
  3.     Irrigation

First management includes early, effective, and irrigation method

In early management, minutes are counted against patient injury. we should not waste time for medical help to reach

Ineffective management we should try to achieve neutral pH

Irrigation management: we need two to eight liter of liquid for irrigation

In case of chemical eye burn, we give first aid at the scene to the patient by washing the eye under running tap water for 20 to 45 minutes.

Immediate treatment during chemical eye burn

In chemical eye burn, we should do the following things for immediate treatment

  1.     First of all, we try to neutralize the pH of a solution that injured the eye
  2.     Then carefully read the full history of the patient for accurate treatment of eye injury
  3.     We use bulk of water so that chemical expelled out with water
  4.     In the end, we should revert the eyelids to remove retained particulate 

Eye Burn Symptoms

Early symptoms  are the following:

  • Torment
  • Red vesicles appear
  • Disturbance
  • Watering in the form of tears
  • Powerlessness in opening the eyes
  • In the eye impression of particles
  • The outer covering of the eye is growing in size
  • Obscured sight

Treatment of Eye Burn

For every compound damage, the primary thing you do is quickly water irrigation to the eye completely. 

Start washing your eyes before making some other move and proceed for an hour every ten minutes. The more extended a substance is in this type of eye, the more harm would happen. Weakening the particles and washing endlessly any particles, are critical for synthetic particles.

  Emergency Room Medical Treatments

  • Quick treatment: Doctors will clean your eyes. No standard method was found for the measure of washing or cleaning necessary. As a rule, specialists use at any rate one liter of liquid.
  • Contingent upon the sort of substance included, the pH of your eye may be tested firstly and washed till the pH comes back to normal.
  • You may use topical soporific eye drops to make it less difficult to wash your eyes.
  • Specialists will clean or flood away any strong outside substances in your eye.
  • You can utilize an eye graph to decide how well you can see to give an eye assessment.
  • Check the structures encompassing the eye.
  • The specialist used the degree of harm to fluorescein. The recoloration of the eye is termed fluorescein.

Drugs After You Go Home

  • If small wounds, you may require simply watering from the eyes or greases for dry eyes.
  • If increasingly huge wounds, we will require delayed treatment as possible numerous meds to mend our eyes.
  • If outside of eye mends, it is a greater hazard for disease; in this way, topical anti-infection agents might be utilized as drops of eyes or salves.
  • Some steroids must be utilized to decrease irritation. 

Precautions to a chemical eye injury

 There are some precautions that can minimize the effect of chemicals on the eye

  1.     We should always use glasses when treating with an acidic or basic agent
  2.     There should be an eye bath station where chemical work started
  3.     Immediately give first aid to the patient

[1]Oman_J_Ophthalmol_2013_6_2_83_86.pdf ( [2]Chemical Injuries of the Eye – Ophthalmology ( [3]Chemical Injuries of the Eye – ScienceDirect 

Reviewed by:
Dr. Shafaat Yar Khan  (Ph.D.) 
Medical University of Vienna, Austria 
Present: University of Sargodha, Pakistan

Our reviewers’ details, Click Here

Leave a Comment