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    Corneal Flash Burns

    Next Steps

    Follow-up

    In most cases, you will need to follow up with your ophthalmologist in 24-48 hours for a reevaluation of the eyes and to make sure that the corneas are healing.

    Prevention

    To prevent damage to the cornea, wear protective eyeglasses that are coated to protect the cornea from ultraviolet light. The labels on the sunglasses indicate the level of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection.

    Protective eyeglasses would include:

    • Sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB radiation

    • Ski goggles or "glacier glasses," particularly at high elevations

    • Totally dark glasses for tanning beds

    • A welder’s mask when welding

    Outlook

    The cornea repairs itself rapidly and usually heals without leaving any scars. In most cases, healing takes place in 1-2 days if you follow all instructions and protect your eyes from further damage.

    However, some complications, such as infection, may not show up right away. Thus, it is important to return for a recheck with your ophthalmologist when it is scheduled.

    For More Information

    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    655 Beach Street
    Box 7424
    San Francisco, CA 94120
    (415) 561-8500

    Multimedia

    Media file 1: An ophthalmologist examines a patient's eye with a slit lamp.

    Media type: Photo

    Synonyms and Keywords

    corneal flash burns, welder’s arc burn, ultraviolet keratitis, snow blindness, flash burn, radiation eye burn, superficial punctuate keratitis, sunburn in the eye, actinic keratitis

    WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

    Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky, MD on April 25, 2014
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