Knowing what to do in case of chemical burns to eyes is essential in protecting one’s eyes. Taking basic first aid offered by the workplace approved equips you with these skills.
According to an adage, “the eyes are the windows to one’s soul.” But aside from being the window to our soul, the eyes are also our windows to the world. They are very important sense organs. Just imagine waking up one day without the sense of sight. You would definitely find it difficult to feed yourself, perform personal hygiene, or even move around. You are always at risk for injuries.
And because of their importance in our lives, we strive to protect them from potential damage.
We wear protective goggles or glasses when our work poses danger the eyes. We rest our eyes every now and then to prevent it from becoming fatigued. We use eye lubricants. Over the past few years, some have been taking supplements to ensure eye health. There are still others who practice special regimens to ensure that their eyes are in perfect shape. Unfortunately, some people meet accidents.
Chemical burns to the eyes are some of the most serious eye injuries. Without immediate first aid, these burns can lead to blindness, sometimes even irreversible. The eyes are made up of very delicate tissues. A corrosive chemical can burn the eyes even before a person can react and shut the eyelid. Even with the person’s eyelids close, chemicals continue to seep through onto the globe causing burns to a large portion of the eyes.
First aid actions taken for chemical burns to the eyes include:
- Place the eyes under running water and flood the eyes. In some cases, the burn will involve parts of the face. If this is the case, you should also flood the entire affected area. If only one eye or one side of the face has been burned, position the burned site below. Avoid washing the chemicals towards the unaffected eye or side of the face.
- Keep the water running, if possible from a faucet. If both eyes are affected, the flow should be from the medial corner of the eye to the sides. Since the natural reaction of the victim is to close his eyes, you may need to hold the eyelids open.
- Continue washing eye for at least 30 minutes or until help arrives.
- If the victim complains of renewed burning sensation, resume washing of the eyes.
- Once the chemical has been cleared, loosely cover the eyes to prevent it from moving. Keep both eyelids shut.
Chemical burns to the eyes can be difficult to manage, especially if you do not have adequate training. Taking basic first aid course offered by the workplace approved and its training partners is essential. Chemical burns to the eyes are usually work-related injuries.
People whose work involves handling corrosive substances are highly encouraged to take first aid course. On the other hand, employers are mandated by law to have someone in the workplace who knows how to manage such emergencies.