Chemical eye burns can take place when the eye comes into contact with a solid, liquid, or vaporous chemical. The seriousness of the burn depends on the chemical, in addition to the amount that comes into contact with the eye. Fortunately, the huge majority of burns are treatable and cause just temporary pain.
Chemical eye burns fall under three classifications based upon acidic or alkaline level, measured in pH. The pH scale varies from 0-14 and shows how acidic or basic a compound is. The pH of 7 is neutral; the pH of healthy tears is 7.5. A pH less than 7 is acidic while a pH higher than 7 is standard.
The three classifications of chemical eye burns are:
- Alkali Burns: These burns include high pH chemicals, and therefore are the most hazardous. They are powerful adequate to permeate the eye, and cause damage to its vital inner components. In the worst cases, they can lead to conditions like cataracts and glaucoma and might cause vision loss or blindness.
- Acid Burns: Lower pH burns that are less major than alkali burns, but still dangerous. These burns are not able to permeate the eye, but still may cause substantial damage to the cornea, with the potential to cause vision loss.
- Irritations: These burns are neutral in pH.
What Causes Chemical Eye Burns?
Chemical burns can occur anywhere for any reason. The majority of typically, they occur in commercial offices where chemicals exist, and at home with typical home cleansing items.
Symptoms of Chemical Eye Burns
Vision loss is indicative of a severe chemical eye burn. Other signs and symptoms include:.
- Eye inflammation.
- Eye irritation.
- Eye pain.
- Swelling of the eye.
- Blurred vision.
- Failure to open the eye.
- Feeling of foreign things in the eye.
Treatments for Chemical Eye Burns
No matter the situation, the most essential thing to do when experiencing an eye burn is to get the chemical from the eyes. A special chemical eye wash station is the best way to do this; however, if the burn is not experienced at work, faucet water is a practical option. To treat a chemical eye burn:.
- Flush the eyes out with water for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- As you wash, use your fingers to hold your eye open as broad as possible and roll your eye to ensure the best coverage.
- In cases of severe burns, call 9-1-1 and flush your eyes out until help arrives.