Chemical Burns (chemical splash from liquid, powder, or spray can)
Immediately flush the eye with large amounts of lukewarm tap water
for 15 to 30 minutes.
Place eye under a faucet or a pitcher and turn the head so the
injured eye is down and to the side. Hold the eyelids open.
(Diagram 19) Or, shower with a gentle stream of lukewarm water on
the lower forehead for 15 minutes, holding eyelid(s) open.
Remove any contact lenses during or after flushing with water.
Take the person to an Emergency Room or ophthalmologist (medical
eye doctor) right after flushing. Or, call 911 and the Pittsburgh
Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for severe burns.
Continue flushing the eye until medical help arrives. Take along
the chemical container or name of the chemical. Alkali chemicals
(example, oven cleaner or ammonia) may not hurt but can cause
Do not rub the eye or bandage it. Keep the eye open. Wear
sunglasses to reduce light sensitivity.
Foreign Bodies or Cuts in the Eye
For floating specks, wash out the eye with large amounts of
lukewarm water or lift the matter away from lids with a moist
cotton ball. Try not to touch the eyeball. If available, use an eye
cup from a pharmacy, fill it with water, and dunk the eye in it
while opening and closing the eye a few times. Or, fill the sink or
a tub with water, then dunk the head in as if you were swimming,
open your eyes and move the head around.
If the clear part of the eye is scratched (corneal scratch),
especially over the pupil, go to an Emergency Room or ophthalmologist.
Do NOT remove any objects stuck into the eye. Protect the eye with
a plastic or paper cup held in place with tape. Go to an Emergency
Room or ophthalmologist.