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What is a corneal flash burn?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2021 | Workers' compensation

When working as a welder, you can suffer various injuries if you do not have appropriate protective equipment. According to WebMD, one of these injuries is a corneal flash burn.

A corneal flash burn occurs when you expose your cornea to ultraviolet radiation.

What are the symptoms of a corneal flash burn?

If you suffered a flash burn, you may notice symptoms between three and 12 hours following exposure. Any pain, whether mild or severe, can indicate a burn. Additionally, you may experience blurry vision and light sensitivity. When looking in the mirror, bloodshot eyes may indicate a burn. You may feel like you have something foreign in your eye but see nothing when you check the mirror.

If you have contact lenses, remove them as soon as possible whenever you experience pain. You may wear sunglasses or use artificial tears to ease the discomfort.

How can you diagnose corneal flash burn?

When you arrive at the eye doctor or emergency room, the physician will examine your pupils, back of the eye and eyelids. With a special lamp, doctors can examine the eye’s surface. The doctor may use numbing eye drops to examine your eyes and to look for corneal damage. The doctor can confirm a flash burn if you have a history of ultraviolet light exposure and damaged cornea.

In some instances, you may need to have pain medication and antibiotics. Other physicians may suggest steroid eye drops for inflammation. Generally, you need to return to the doctor within 24 or 48 hours to ensure that your corneas began the healing process.