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Chemical Eye Burns


A chemical eye burn is an injury to any part of your eye that is exposed to chemicals.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • 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 ask for pain medicine. This medicine may be given as an eyedrop, pill, or IV.
  • 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.


  • Litmus paper test: This is also called a pH paper test. Your healthcare provider will put a small piece of paper on your lower lid to see if the chemical has been rinsed off your eye.
  • Slit-lamp test: This test uses a microscope to look into your eye and check for injury. It may also help your healthcare provider see if there are any chemicals left in your eye.
  • Visual acuity test: This test checks your vision and how well your eye moves.
  • Eye stain test: This test uses dye and blue light to show damage to your eye. It can also show fluid that is leaking from your eye.
  • Tonometry: This test measures the pressure inside your eye.


  • Eye care: Your healthcare provider will continue to rinse your eye. He may then remove any remaining chemicals or other objects from your eye. He may give you artificial tears or an eye patch to protect your eye and help it heal.
  • Surgery: You may have one or more surgeries to help fix your eye. Your healthcare provider may cut parts of your skin tissue to help relax your eye.
    • Debridement: Healthcare providers remove any damaged tissue to decrease inflammation and help your eye heal.
    • Tenoplasty: Healthcare providers rebuild damaged parts of your eyeball and restore the surface of your eye.
    • Tissue grafting: Healthcare providers replace damaged tissue in your eye.
    • Transplant: Healthcare providers replace your damaged cornea or other parts of your eye.


The process of rinsing your eye can be painful. Steroid medicine may be harmful to your eye if you use it for too long. You may get an eye infection. Surgery may cause permanent dry eyes. You may get more blood vessels in your eye and the blood vessels may become large. Your eye may have scars, cuts, or permanent damage. Your eyesight may become worse or you may become blind. Without treatment, your eye may develop a cataract (clouding of the lens) or glaucoma (increased pressure).


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Chemical Eye Burns (Inpatient Care)

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