Getting anything in your eye that isn't supposed to be there can be painful and annoying, but toxic substances are downright dangerous. Whether it's something as common as a household cleaning solution or something more unusual, it's important to know in advance how to care for your eyes if something dangerous gets in them. Prepare yourself by reading this simple guide.
Read the Directions
The very first thing you should do in these instances is to read any directions the product has on it. All household products and most industrial or medical products will have information printed on them with directions on what to do if their product gets in your eyes or on your skin.
It's important to read the directions since not all chemicals are the same. While your first instinct might be to wash your eyes out, in some cases, this can make matters worse.
If you can't find information on the bottle or container that the product came in, call the National Capital Poison Center. This hotline is available around the clock, free of charge and is solely there to help guide you if you come into contact with dangerous poisons. As long as you know the name of the product that got in your eyes, they will be able to provide advice.
Once you've followed the directions and the worst of the product has been flushed out of your eyes, you will likely still be in a great deal of discomfort. Unfortunately, rubbing, patting, or touching your eyes at all can potentially make matters worse by harming sensitive tissues that could have experienced chemical burns.
To ease the discomfort and potential swelling, take a washcloth or towel and soak it in cold water. Wring out the excess, fold it over on itself, and rest it over your eyes. It may sting, but the cold will help to bring down inflammation and it should feel better soon.
Get to Eye Doctor
Lastly, call your optometry clinic for emergency assistance. Most eye doctors have on-call after hours service in case of emergency. While you've likely done a good job at this point getting the poisonous substance out of your eyes, there could be serious damage that needs medical attention. If nothing else, your eye doctor will be able to prescribe medicine to reduce your pain and will be able to assure you that your eyes and vision are safe.
Getting anything in your eye is unpleasant, but when it comes to toxic fluids, it's no laughing matter. Hopefully, you'll be able to go through life without this ever happening to you. However, if you or a loved one do end up going through this, you now know what to do and how to prevent this situation from being made worse.