Florida woman Katherine Gaydos glued her eye shut when she mistakenly used super glue that she believed to be eye drops. Gaydos was with a friend who was working in her yard, blowing leaves, when some sort of debris became lodged in the eye of the woman. Gaydos asked her friend to get some Visine in order for her to flush out whatever was in her eye. Her friend brought over what she believed to be eye drops, but it clearly was not. According to WPBF in Florida, the friend of Katherine Gaydos mistakenly brought over super glue, not Visine. Without checking the label, Gaydos quickly poured the super glue into her eye and instantly realized that something was wrong.
“As soon as I felt it in my eye, I felt it burn, and I closed my eye and screamed ‘Call 911.’ “
The eye of the unfortunate Florida woman remained shut by the glue for eight days following the accident. The woman went to The Palm Beach Eye Center in Lake Worth, Florida. The physician that she saw prescribed her antibiotics and ointment for her to use. That is all the doctor was willing to do for Gaydos, since she did not have insurance and was not able to provide the money for any more medical interventions.
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The media attention that was brought to Katherine’s story forced the hand of The Palm Beach Eye Center and the doctor that refused to treat the super glued eye any further without being paid in advance. Katherine received a call from the eye center and she was asked to come back in to see if they could do more for her. This time, Katherine saw a different eye doctor. The doctor she saw was able to get the glued eye open. The doctor placed Lidocaine, a topical anesthetic, around the eye. The doctor then manipulated the skin around her eye until the eye was able to be forcibly opened. It was discovered during the examination that her cornea had super glue on it. They were not able to deal with that at the time of the visit. Katherine was told to make a follow-up appointment in order to have the rest of the glue scraped off of her cornea. It is not expected that Katherine will have permanent damage to her eye from the super glue accident.
“He said I should get my sight back and not have permanent damage.”
As strange as this incident was, it is actually something that happens to more people than you would believe. The National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study in 1997 in order to determine the frequency that an eye or eyes were superglued shut. Over the course of a year, the NCBI was able to identify 14 people who were treated for super glue eye injuries. They were able to determine that none of the 14 had any long lasting eye damage from their accident.
Assistant professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Pankaj Gupta, spoke with ABC News. Gupta talked about the many patients that he had personally treated in which they put super glue into their eyes. Gupta explained that the most important thing a person who gets super glue in their eye is “don’t panic.”
“The eye cells will slough off and eventually loosen the grip of super glue.”
Any person who has this situation happen to them should be treated by an eye doctor as soon as possible. For the most part, super glue in the eye is not an injury that will lead to blindness or other permanent eye damage.
Have you, or anyone you know, mistaken eye drops for super glue?
[Images via ABC News Twitter Feed / Pastor John’s YouTube Channel via ABCNews.com/ WPBF.com]