Ocular Damage Due to Chlorhexidine versus Eyeshield Thermal Injury


  • M.M. Christian, MD, D.O. Cox, PhD, PE, C.V. Smith, T. Onouye, BS, and R.L. Moy, MD have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mary Christian, MD, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75235-9069.


Background. Ocular damage may occur from a number of mechanisms during laser use.

Objective. To review issues relevant to ocular protection during laser resurfacing.

Methods. The authors were consulted to evaluate the thermal energy transferred from the outer to the inner (ie, corneal contact) surface of stainless steel eyeshields following direct exposure to the carbon dioxide (CO2) resurfacing laser beam. Measurements were obtained using thermocouples (attached to the inner surface of the eyeshields) and analyzed with a computer-based acquisition system.

Results. A maximum eyeshield temperature increase of 13°C above the ambient temperature was noted following one pass with a CO2 resurfacing laser (Sharplan continuous CO2 laser with Clinicon SureScan scanner, 15 W, 950 μsec pulse duration, square spot of 9 mm).

Conclusion. The eyeshields analyzed in this study minimized thermal transfer following a single direct hit with a CO2 resurfacing laser. An understanding of the potential mechanisms of ocular injury is essential in preventing its occurrence.