This month, we conclude our discussion of ocular trauma with a look at chemical injuries, which have the potential to produce severe unilateral or bilateral visual impairment.
Causes and types of chemical injuries
Chemical injuries to the eyes are not uncommon, occurring in both home and work environments. Injuries are usually classified according to the pH of the causative agent as alkaline or acidic, as the two types of agents tend to behave differently when in contact with the ocular surface. Alkali injuries are generally more severe and involve deeper structures such as the corneal stroma and endothelium whereas acid injuries are more often confined to the corneal epithelium.