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article imageWoman mistakes Super Glue for eye drops

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By Lynn Curwin     Oct 7, 2010 in Health
Phoenix - An Arizona woman who accidentally put glue in her eye instead of her eye drops wants to warn others so that they don’t make the same mistake.
Irmgard Holm, who had cataract surgery last year, uses several types of eye drops.
When she went to put her drops in recently she picked up a bottle that looked very similar but contained something very different – Super Glue.
When she felt a burning sensation in her eye she knew something was seriously wrong.
"The bottles are identical and I am not young anymore, but I am not senile," Holm told Fox News.
She attempted to wash out the adhesive but her eye was quickly sealed shut. Paramedics and hospital staff were able to get her eye open and clean it before there was any major damage.
"They had to cut off the glue substance and it was all hard and in the eye, and I couldn't even see,” said Holm,
Holm hopes glue makers will change the shape and size of bottles to help prevent mix-ups.
Dr. Thomas Stokkermans, an ophthalmologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, has treated people with glue in their eyes.
"The Super Glue only bonds to dry surfaces so just the interior margin of the eyelid and the eyelashes are usually glued shut," AOL Health quoted him as saying. "With the patient I treated, I just cut the eyelashes and that was enough. The Super Glue causes a chemical burn but does not bond to the eye. Mostly the eye is glued shut because the eyelashes are stuck together."
He said that the person might lose their eyelashes and the skin may be irritated, but that there are usually no lasting effects.
He stated that the mix-up sometimes occurs with other products, such as nail glue.
“With all the different shapes and markings on these bottles, there are lots of potential combinations," he told AOL Health. "There was an article in a British journal that showed that out of 14 people who came to the hospital with glue in their eye, only two of them did it because of confusing the bottles. The other people inadvertently had glue squirted in their eyes. So overall the problem is not necessarily from getting the bottles confused."
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