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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 537-538

A sticky situation – Super glue in the eye, a case series

Department of Ophthalmolology, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission05-Nov-2022
Date of Acceptance09-Jan-2023
Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2023

Correspondence Address:
Yogesh Kumar
242, Housing Board Colony, Ward-16, Cheeka, Dist. Kaithal, Haryana - 136 034
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJO.IJO_2954_22

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Keywords: Chemical injuries, ocular injuries, superglue, superglue in eye

How to cite this article:
Kumar Y, Bhalla JS, Sakhuja R, Yadav N. A sticky situation – Super glue in the eye, a case series. Indian J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2023;3:537-8

How to cite this URL:
Kumar Y, Bhalla JS, Sakhuja R, Yadav N. A sticky situation – Super glue in the eye, a case series. Indian J Ophthalmol Case Rep [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 2];3:537-8. Available from: https://www.ijoreports.in/text.asp?2023/3/2/537/375004

A rising trend of accidental instillation of super glue in the eye is now much more commonly seen mostly because of the intricacy of its use. Here, we report a series of three cases.

Case 1

A 3-year-old child was brought to the emergency room after accidental super glue instillation in his right eye. On examination, a patch of glue was seen covering the superotemporal aspect of the cornea [Figure 1]a and adjacent conjunctiva; the lids were separate, except for few lashes which were matted together [Figure 1]b. Anesthetic eye drops was instilled to ease the patient. The eye was patched with antibiotic ointment overnight. On review the next day, corneal abrasion was noted corresponding to the glued part with mild conjunctival congestion and lid edema. On day 4, the cornea was completely clear.
Figure 1: (a) Super glue over the cornea (temporal aspect). (b) Matted lashes up till its base

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Case 2

A 10-year-old girl reported to the emergency after accidental super glue instillation in her left eye [Figure 2]. On examination, glue was noted only at the center of the cornea. The eye was patched with antibiotic ointment for 1 day. On the third day, the cornea was clear. Antibiotic ointment and lubricating eye drops were continued for 5 days.
Figure 2: (a and b) Circular shadow over the iris, which moved opposite to the direction of light (denoting transparent glue over the center of cornea)

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Case 3

A 23-year-old female presented with closed matted and watering right eye after accidental glue squirt while using it for cosmetic nail extension. On examination, there was lid edema, the eyelids were seen matted together, and hardened glue was noted at the base of the lashes. Trimming of the eyelashes was done, and the eye was opened [Figure 3]. A saline-soaked cotton ball was placed over the matted lashes to soften the glue. Antibiotic and lubricating drops were prescribed. The patient was lost to follow-up.
Figure 3: Half of the lashes freed from the upper lid and the remaining from the lower lid

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  Discussion Top

With the increasing use of super glue (cyanoacrylate) in household, art and craft, do-it-yourself projects, and so on, the number of hazards associated with it are also increasing. Instillation usually happens accidentally while opening–reopening, applying, capping–recapping, and/or squeezing the dispenser,[1] and rarely, intentionally.[2]

Since it is available in liquid form and acts instantly, the user is in a hurry to apply it before it dries up and that commonly leads to mishaps. Irrigation of the eye is commonly practiced, but it does not have much use as the glue hardens within seconds.[3] Trimming of eyelashes to remove the hardened superglue is usually done. As the underlying epithelium regenerates, the overlying glue falls off by itself. That is why, conservative management is usually preferred. The corneal abrasions are treated with topical antibiotics, cycloplegics, and eye patching. Bandage contact lens can be used to reduce the irritation. The use of acetone[4] has been tried by some for removal over lids, but we discourage its use for ocular surface and lids.

Cyanoacrylate glue is also used for medical purposes; however, the chemical structure of it is different from the one used commercially. In ophthalmology, it is used for small corneal perforations, corneal melts, wound leaks, sealing of leaking filtering blebs, punctal occlusion, and skin closure in oculoplastics.

Superglue injuries are usually managed conservatively. No serious ocular morbidity has been reported.[5] Long-term ocular prognosis with superglue (cyanoacrylate) injuries of the eye appears favorable from published case reports, but it is an unpleasant and distressing experience for the patient. We advise all our readers to open a pack of super glue carefully, slowly, and while looking sideways to best avoid any unforeseen accidents.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Terman SM. Treatment of Ocular Super Glue Instillation. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care 2009;66:E70-1.  Back to cited text no. 1
Spencer TJ, Clark B. Self-inflicted superglue injuries. Med J Aust 2004;181:341.  Back to cited text no. 2
Yusuf IH, Patel CK. A sticky sight: Cyanoacrylate 'superglue' injuries of the eye. BMJ Case Rep 2010;2010:bcr11.2009.2435.  Back to cited text no. 4
Tabatabaei SA, Modanloo S, Ghiyasvand AM, Pouryani A, Soleimani M, Tabatabaei SM, et al. Epidemiological aspects of ocular superglue injuries. Int J Ophthalmol 2016;9:278-81.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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