Combat soldiers are exposed to many forms of burns that can effect their eyes.Thermal, chemical and radiation can cause burns.
Healthy eyes must have a moist, clean and smooth environment to function well.This requires adquate tear volume and quality, functioning eyelids and normal sensation to the eye tissues. Thermal burns from explosive flashes, fires or hot shrapnel can easily burn the eyes or the skin around the eyes.Chemicals such as acids, bases or toxic chemicals can also burn eye tissues. Radiation can cause immediate or long term, progressive burns. If the delicate environment of healthy eye is altered by the burn, the eye can dry, scar, opacify, or collapse. Obviously, if possible, soldiers will try to protect their eyes from serious injury by either closing and protecting their eyes if at all possible.
Often a burn to the lids can lead to scarring and poor lid function.This ruins the lids protective functions for the eye. Many times the eyes are not initially injured but the lack of lid function causes scarring and the loss of the eye or the eye's vision. Modern soldiers are often seen to wear eye protection to avoid trauma.