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Burns To The Eyes (Part II)

Flash burns to the eye:

A flash burn to the eye occurs when the person is exposed to a bright ultraviolet light. Causes of flash burn to the eye may include:

  • Welding torch.
  • Direct sunlight.
  • Some types of lamps like halogen lamps.
  • Sunlamp in a tanning salon.
  • Lightning.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Usually both eyes are affected.
  • Pain that may be mild to very severe.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Redness and watery eye.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Feeling that there may be something in the eyes.


Seek medical advice and follow the physician’s orders, place pads over both eyes until medical help is available.


  • Wear sun glasses that protect against ultraviolet light.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect the eye.
  • When welding always wear a welder’s mask.
  • In children with burned eyes applying first aid may be harder depending on the age of the child and his/her ability to cooperate. You need to stay calm and may need to have another adult help you with holding the child to facilitate flushing the eyes (if appropriate).
  • It may take up to 24 hours after the burn to determine the seriousness of the eye injury.
  • Some problems such as infection do not show up right away and that is why it is important to follow up with your doctor to make sure that the eyes are healing properly.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

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