Ultraviolet Corneal Burns

The mainstay of management of an ultraviolet burn to the cornea is pain relief.

Topical and oral analgesics such as NSAIDs may be used and a mydriatic may be helpful for photophobia due to ciliary muscle spasm in more severe cases. A single dose of cyclopentolate instilled into the eye will dilate the pupil for up to 24 hours, by which time the ultraviolet burn will normally have healed.

If a mydriatic is used, the patient must be warned about blurring of vision and advised not to drive until the eye(s) have returned to normal.

Eye lubricants and Topical antibiotics helps to prevent infection while cornea heals.

Learning bite

Do not be tempted to discharge a patient with local anaesthetic drops as corneal healing will be delayed.