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Chemical eye burns require swift treatment

Workers who work around certain chemicals are at risk of suffering from burns to the eye. In most cases, workers wear goggles or other eye protection to stop this from happening. When eye protection isn't available, workers are at an increased risk of these injuries. For any worker who is around chemicals, knowing how to handle burns to the eye is vital.

One of the first steps that must be taken when a burn to the eye occurs is to flush out the eye. This must be done with either a saline solution or water. While the eye is being flushed out, it must be held open. In some cases, the eye will need 30 to 120 minutes of irrigation.

In all cases of a burned eye, even if the situation seems minor, immediate medical care is necessary because of the sensitivity of the eye. Emergency personnel should be called while the eye is being irrigated.

Medical care from a eye doctor is often necessary to prevent vision issues from occurring. It is recommended that this treatment occur within 24 hours of the accident. The eye doctor might use a variety of methods to treat the burn. In some cases, vision problems or blindness might occur even with the best care.

If you suffered an eye burn at work, you might be in for a long series of visits to the eye doctor. In some cases, you might have to take time off of work. You should explore your options for seeking compensation for the medical bills and missed wages if those apply to your case.

Source: Merck Manual Consumer Version, "Burns to the Eye," Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD, accessed July 27, 2015

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