Oct 24, 2010
Yes, it sounds crazy, and repulsive but it really happens. Super glue, that nasty, but useful agent found in he supermarket checkout aisle, has a dark side too. Being a firm believer in Murphy's Law, I completely understand how super glue would find its way into the eyes of unsupsecting people. It's quite simple, if you think about it. There are many manufacturers of super glue type products and some of the containers are about the same size and shape as a bottle of eye drops. Often, people who need eye drops may have bad vision and would have to take their glasses off to put in the eyedrops. They reach into the kitchen junk drawer and grab the wrong little bottle and a very bad day begins.
I have personally seen 4 such cases of super glue products in the eye and I'm sorry to admit one was an aunt (yes, it runs in my DNA.) Yesterday, I was called about a grandmother who accidentally put super glue "drops" in both eyes of a 1 month old infant. You can stop cringing now. The baby was taken to a childrens eye clinic and should be fine.
The good news is that, almost always, a full recovery can be made in less than a week. Lots of lubricating ointment is placed on the eye and eyelids and lashes and the hardened glue can carefully be removed over the next few days. The glue itself is not terribly toxic to the tissues but rather it becomes hardened, glues the eyelids and lashes together and can scratch the cornea and conjuctiva if not removed within a few days.
Now that I have you thinking, remember that other similar products can inadvertantly be dropped in the eye by accicdent. One of my well known patients put fresh breath drops in her eye last week, and she recovered completely. Other culprits include ear drops and fingernail antifungal drops.