Chemical injuries to the external eye can range can be severe resulting in corneal opacification, loss of vision, and even loss of the eye. Chemical injuries may occur in the home or workplace.
Alkali injury due to lime (chunna) is most commonly seen .
Chemical injuries of the eye produce extensive damage to the ocular surface epithelium, cornea, anterior segment and limbal stem cells resulting in permanent unilateral or bilateral visual impairment.
Patients suffering from a chemical injury often present to the emergency.
Immediate treatment should include copious irrigation prior to ophthalmic evaluation irrigation with isotonic saline or lactate ringer solution.
In pediatric cases, if the examination is not possible under topical anesthesia it should be done under general anesthesia.
The goal of treatment is restoration of the normal ocular surface anatomy and lid position, control of glaucoma and restoration of corneal clarity.