A chemical burn occurs when a liquid (including liquid soap and hand sanitiser) or powder chemical contacts the eye. Most commonly, the injury happens when a chemical splashes over the face. However, chemical burns may also result from rubbing your eyes after handling chemicals
Symptoms of chemical burns to the eye
The symptoms of a chemical burn depend on the substance splashed into the eyes, but may include:
▪︎Swelling of the eyelids
Complications of chemical burns to the eye
▪︎Corneal perforation – full thickness damage to the cornea, the clear surface of the eye
▪︎Corneal ulcer – superficial damage to the cornea
▪︎Cataracts – an abnormal clouding of the eye’s lens
▪︎Glaucoma – high pressure within the eye, which damages the optic nerve.
First aid suggestion for chemical burns to the eye.
Liquid or powder splashes from chemicals may seriously damage the eye. In many cases, prompt and thorough rinsing of the eye (with saline or fresh water), dramatically reduces the risk of injury and long-term damage.
Seek immediate medical advice. Medical staff will need to know what chemical was involved.
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