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I had an unfortunate accident at the hair salon—hair dye mixed with Vaseline got into both my eyes. Both eyes have been irrigated with saline at the hospital, but I continue to experience burning and pain after four days. The doctors are mystified and keep telling me that the chemicals should be gone by now. My question is, have you any knowledge of special circumstances where Vaseline has bonded to the inside of the eye, making it difficult to clean? I continue to flush my eyes. Is there anything else I can do to neutralize the chemicals?

It is important to be evaluated to make sure there is no particulate matter in your tear film or under your eyelids. Also, the pH of your tears should be checked and if alkaline, additional flushing should be done. The chemical injury may have damaged the ocular surface which consists of the conjunctiva and cornea. If there are no infections and no breakdown of the surface of the cornea you should use topical artificial tears and gels for relief. You will likely improve over time. It is not unusual to have symptoms four days after a chemical injury. You may wish to consult an Eye M.D. for a slit lamp exam of the corneal and conjunctival surface.

Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MDDr. Gary Hirshfield

Categories: Eye Injuries

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Answered: Apr 16, 2013

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