A chemical burn of the eye is, without a doubt, a serious condition. Because of the rapid action of the chemical, its destruction of tissues and its penetrating power, and because of the fact that a chemical burn does not respond to treatment, it is a challenge to every ophthalmologist. One needs but to see one case of this type to realize the truth of this statement. A chemical burn of the eye is much worse than a burn by fire or hot metal.
Reported cases are not frequent. Wagenmann,1 in the Graefe-Saemisch Handbuch, reported twenty-three cases up to 1911. Teräskeli2 in 1927 could find only twenty-four cases in the literature. What the cases lack in frequency, however, is overshadowed by their disastrous results.
A chemical burn, according to Thies,3 is a change in the bodily tissues produced by the entrance of the chemical substance. The action
McANDREWS LF. CHEMICAL BURNS OF THE EYE. Arch Ophthalmol. 1932;7(5):779–785. doi:10.1001/archopht.1932.00820120131012