Chemical Eye Burns
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A chemical eye burn is an injury to any part of your eye that is exposed to chemicals.
- Antibiotic medicine: This medicine helps prevent infection caused by bacteria. It may be given as an eyedrop or ointment.
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. This medicine may be given as an eyedrop or pill.
- Cycloplegic medicine: This medicine dilates your pupil and relaxes your eye muscles to help decrease pain and twitching.
- Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or ophthalmologist as directed:
You will need to return to have your eye and vision checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Your primary healthcare provider or ophthalmologist may give you artificial tears or an eye patch to protect your eye and help it heal.
If you get chemicals in your eye:
Rinse your eye immediately. The sooner you begin to rinse your eye, the better your chances of healing.
- Rinse your eye with a steady stream of water for at least 30 minutes . Use the cleanest water you can get to quickly. Never use other chemicals to rinse out your eye. Move your eyeball in all directions to make sure that all parts of your eye are rinsed. If possible, continue to rinse out your eye with water until you reach the treatment center.
- Remove clothing that may still contain chemicals. Do not take out your contact lenses.
- Bring the container to show caregivers, if possible. Do not bring the container if the chemical may burn you again.
Prevent another chemical eye burn:
- Always wear protective eyewear, such as goggles, that fit closely around your eyes.
- Do not touch your eyes when you work with chemicals.
- Follow the instructions on the container when you use chemicals that may hurt your eyes.
- Make a plan in case you or someone else gets burned. Know where the best water or liquid is located for rinsing your eyes. Check to see if your company has an eye wash station.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or eye specialist if:
- Your eye feels dry.
- Your eye is watery.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your eyesight is blurry or you lose vision.
- You have cuts, bumps, or other damage on your eyeball.
- Your eye becomes red or cloudy.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.