The severe delayed effects of burns of the eye produced by certain chemicals are frequently unexpected because the initial injury seems to be exceedingly minor. Lime was chosen for these studies because it is used widely in industry, is frequently the cause of severe ocular destruction and in corrosive action is representative of the caustic agents which most commonly produce burns of the eye.
As a rule, when powdered lime (calcium oxide) strikes the open eye it adheres to the conjunctiva and cornea, part of it becoming dissolved in the tears. This becomes slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), which is as caustic as the powdered form. The tissues touched by the lime are immediately burned, as evidenced by redness and slight edema of the bulbar conjunctiva and a superficial whitish infiltration of the cornea. First aid treatment consists of irrigation, removal of particles of visible lime, instillation of a so-called neutralizing
BROWN AL. LIME BURNS OF THE EYE: USE OF RABBIT PERITONEUM TO PREVENT SEVERE DELAYED EFFECTS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES AND REPORT OF CASES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1941;26(5):754–769. doi:10.1001/archopht.1941.00870170046004
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