Dr. Daniel Schainholz, MD, MPH  
     
     
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if you get a chemical in your eye?
When you get a chemical in your eye, the most important thing to do is to wash out 
the eye with lots of fresh water immediately. Even if you have to pry your eyelids
open to get the water in, washing out the offending chemicals right away is the most
 effective way to prevent a more serious chemical injury Even after you have washed
out or "irrigated" the eye with water for several minutes, your eye may still be
injured and you may still need to seek professional eye care. Severe chemical burns
of the eye can cause permanent vision loss, so it is best not to take chances with
any chemical burn of your eyes. Remember to bring a labeled bottle of the offending
chemical so that your doctor can determine what is in the solution. Some very
dangerous household chemicals like drain cleaner, ammonia-containing cleaners and
household bleach are so toxic that they can cause *severe* chemical burns of the eye.
If a person has gotten one of these in the eye, then it makes good sense to visit
the emergency room. The eye will be further irrigated until as much of the chemical
as possible has been washed out and a referral to an appropriate physician will be
made. Chemical injuries with less toxic materials may feel significantly better
after washing out the eyes with lots of water, but any persistent pain or blurred
vision should be taken very seriously and prompt you to seek professional attention.
 
The key with all severe chemical injuries of the eye is to irrigate the eye with 
water immediately and seek professional treatment as soon as possible. When it
comes to the eyes, it is much better to be safe than sorry.