Chemical Burns of the Eye
Chemical burns of the eye are one of the most common eye injuries. The extent of the ocular surface damage is influenced by the type, temperature, volume, and pH of the corrosive substance and duration of exposure. Limbal ischemia found on eye assessment is the primary determinant of eventual visual outcome. Eye irrigation must be instituted immediately at the scene of exposure and continued in the emergency department to reduce visual impairment. Traditionally lactated Ringer's and normal saline have been used as irrigation fluids, although one systematic review demonstrates similar outcomes with other irrigation fluids. The Morgan Lens is a device that can be utilized to allow the provider to perform “hands free” eye irrigation. Complications of chemical burns are more common with alkali burns as these substances destroy the corneal epithelium and allow this corrosive base substance to penetrate deeper into the cornea.