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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;129:819 – 824.
Ocular Injury in Children From
Exploding Microwaved Eggs
Svetlana Berestizshevsky, MD,
Nitza Goldenberg-Cohen, MD, Ronit Friling, MD,
Dov Weinberger, MD, and Moshe Snir, MD
To report an ocular injury caused by exploding
Two children exposed to exploding micro-
waved eggs were examined for facial burns and ocular
One patient sustained mild corneal epithelial
damage in both eyes and eyelid burn, which were
treated conservatively. The other, injured in the same
event, had symblepharon and moderate keratopathy
requiring intensive lysis.
Physicians should be alerted to the po-
tential risk of vision-threatening ocular injury from
exploding microwaved foods, and the public should be
educated not to cook eggs in microwave ovens. (Am
J Ophthalmol 2005;139:718-719. © 2005 by Elsevier
Inc. All rights reserved.)
HOLE EGGS THAT ARE IMPROPERLY COOKED IN A
microwave oven may explode, placing individu-
als handling them at risk of burns.
Children appear to
be especially vulnerable.
About 16% of microwave
injuries in children are caused by exploding eggs or
The burns are usually mild, involving less
than 25% of the body surface area.
This article de-
scribes the course and outcome of ocular thermal injury
caused by exploding microwaved eggs in two children.
AN 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL REFERRED FOR TREATMENT OF FA-
cial burns (Figure 1) reported that an egg she had
cooked in a microwave oven exploded when she struck
the shell with a fork. Examination revealed superﬁcial
burns on the forehead, periorbital region, and nasal
dorsum, as well as bilateral corneal abrasions. Treatment
consisted of topical ung. chloramphenicol 5% four times
a day. Recovery was uneventful.
AN 11-YEAR-OLD BOY, THE BROTHER OF CASE 1, INJURED
in the same event, presented with total corneal epithe-
lial erosion in both eyes and an inferior nasal corneal
burn in the left eye (Figure 2). On day 2 of hospitaliza-
tion, symblepharon developed in the lower fornix of the
left eye necessitating daily lysis four times a day with a
glass rod. Visual acuity after treatment was 6/6 in the
right eye and 6/30 in the left. At the 3-month follow-up,
there was no symblepharon, but the corneal opacity had
not improved, and there was stromal neovascularization.
Visual acuity was 6/6 in the right eye and 6/18 in the
DURING MICROWAVE COOKING, RADIO WAVES (2,500
MHz) penetrate the food and induce molecular oscilla-
tions in fat- and water-containing substances. The heat
Accepted for publication Sep 28, 2004.
From the Department of Ophthalmology, Schneider Children’s Med-
ical Center of Israel and Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tiqva, Sackler
Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Inquiries to S. Berestizshevsky, MD, Department of Ophthalmology,
Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tiqva 49202, Israel;
fax: (ϩ972) 3-925-3273; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FIGURE 1. (Left) Midfacial burn in an 8-year-old girl. Note the bilateral upper face involvement with bilateral corneal erosions.
(Right) Complete resolution after treatment.