A Neglected Subject in Nursing: Eye Care

Friday, 28 July 2017

Nuray Turan, PhD
Hatice Kaya, PhD
Gulsun Ozdemir Aydin, MSc
Department of Fundamentals of Nursing, Istanbul University, Florence Nightingale Nursing Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey


In a healthy individual, the eyelids create both a physical and a mechanical barrier against trauma and dryness. However, loss of consciousness, giving respiratory support, sedation and the administration of muscle relaxant drugs lead to insufficient closure of the eyelids, reduction in blink reflex, and the emergence of problems with the eye. Accordingly, problems with the cornea, complications such as keratitis, conjunctival edema and dry eye may occur.


 In this article, nursing interventions applied for the prevention of eye dryness were discussed by examining the literature and research findings, and application-oriented suggestions were proposed.


The application of evidence-based nursing care standards is the most basic element in the prevention of eye dryness. However, nursing care applications for eye care are not performed based on evidence in our country, only the medicines prescribed by the physician are applied, and applications are started after a problem related to the eye has been detected. In studies carried out based on eye care protocols, it is seen that problems such as keratopathy, conjunctivitis and keratitis have been focused, eye dryness that can be avoided by a simple protocol before it has been neglected. In the prevention of eye dryness, eye hygiene should be ensured, tears should be protected or replaced, and the open eye should be closed. The use of tear preparations without preservatives and eye pomade, closing of the eye with polyethylene cover forming a humid chamber, isotonic-soaked or dry gauze bandage and eye protective pads are recommended. In a research carried out in our country, it has been stated that closing eye with polyethylene cover is more effective in preventing eye dryness.


One of the most important responsibilities of the nurse is to prevent the development of complications in the individual. In this context, nursing practices should be based on evidence in the prevention of advanced problems that may arise due to the eye dryness and further studies should be carried out in this field.