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Corneal Flash Burns

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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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