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Ocular Chemical Burns

Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Chemical exposure to the eye can result in rapid, devastating, and permanent damage and is one of the true emergencies in ophthalmology.

  • Separate alkaline from acid chemical exposure....

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Most often, complaints of pain, photophobia, blurred vision, and a foreign body sensation

  • In alkali burns, can have initial pain that later diminishes

  • Mild burns: pain and blurred visio...

TREATMENT

Copious irrigation and removal of corneal or conjunctival foreign bodies are always the initial treatment (1,2)[A]: 
  • Passively open patient’s eyelid and have patient look in all directions wh...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Depending on severity of ocular injury

    • From daily to weekly visits initially

  • May be inpatient

  • If on mannitol or prednisone, consider frequent ser...

REFERENCES

1
Singh P, Tyagi M, Kumar Y, et al. Ocular chemical injuries and their management. Oman J Ophthalmol.  2013;6(2):83–86. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Eslani M, Baradaran-Rafii A, Mova...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Fish R, Davidson RS. Management of ocular thermal and chemical injuries, including amniotic membrane therapy. Curr Opin Ophthalmol.  2010;21(4):317–321. [View Abstract on Ovid...

SEE ALSO

Burns 

CODES

ICD10

  • T26.50XA Corrosion of unsp eyelid and periocular area, init encntr

  • T26.60XA Corrosion of cornea and conjunctival sac, unsp eye, init

  • S05.00XA Inj conjunctiva and corneal abrasion w/o fb, unsp...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Prompt irrigation of all chemical burns, even prior to arrival to the emergency department, is essential to ensure best outcomes. It is impossible to overirrigate.

  • All patients with che...

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