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Chemical Eye Burns (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

For all chemical injuries, the first thing you should do is immediately irrigate the eye copiously. Ideally, specific eye irrigating solutions should be used for this, but if none are available regular tap water will do just fine.

  • Begin washing your eye before taking any other action and continue for at least 10 minutes. The longer a chemical is in your eye, the more damage will occur. Diluting the substance and washing away any particles that may have been in the chemical are extremely important.
  • Ideally, in a work setting, you would be placed in an emergency eyewash or shower station and your eye washed with sterile isotonic saline solution. If sterile saline is not available, use cold tap water.
  • If you are at home and do not have special eye wash, step into the shower with your clothes on to wash out your eye.
  • Even though it may be uncomfortable, open your eyelids as wide as possible as you rinse them out.
  • If an alkali or hydrofluoric acid burn has occurred, continue washing until a doctor arrives or you have been taken to a hospital's emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2014

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