chemical injury

A chemical splash to the eye can be very painful and potentially blinding. Strong acids and bases can cause corneal scarring and permanent vision loss if not treated promptly.  The most common chemical injuries seen are from household cleaners splashed into the eye. Other toxins include hair dye, ear medicines, and anti-fungal nail drops mistakenly used in the eyes. The treatment for any chemical injury is irrigation – immediately wash the eye out. The faster and more thorough you wash your eye, the better the ultimate outcome. In the emergency room, doctors will occasionally use a Morgan lens, a plastic cup placed in the eye that is attached to bags of saline to allow copious irrigation over 15-30 minutes. Chemical splashes are the only eye problem where we recommend a therapy “before” you even see the doctor.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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