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Question: How are chemical injuries to the eye treated?

Answer: Irrigation, irrigation, irrigation. The quicker you can irrigate the offending agent, the better the visual prognosis.

With any chemical injury, you need to irrigate the eyes with saline copiously, as soon as possible. Have the patient irrigate at home, in route in the ambulance, and in the emergency before you even get to see them. In fact, a chemical injury is one of the few eye emergencies where you instruct the patient to begin treatment (irrigation) before you see them.

Findings on exam may be a hazy cornea, and inflammed conjunctiva. A white, bleached conjunctiva/sclera is a bad sign as it means that the chemical has cooked the conjunctival vessels. The eyelids need to be everted (even “double everted”) and swept of debris that may be harboring more chemical.


u have to irrigate the conjunctiva,fornix,canthi & cornea but don’t be a prresure.

Comment by optom. Anup d vyas — October 11, 2010

useful info

Comment by RAMDASS — July 25, 2012

my son poked himself in the white part of his eye now all I see Is blood tjere what do I do

Comment by janet kennedy — March 16, 2014

Sounds like a subconjunctival hemorrhage. I recommend seeing an eye doctor, especially if pain or change in vision.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — March 19, 2014

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