If a chemical splashes into your eye, take these steps immediately.

  1. Flush your eye with water. Use clean, lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes. Use whichever of these approaches is quickest:
    • Get into the shower and aim a gentle stream of water on your forehead over your affected eye. Or direct the stream on the bridge of your nose if both eyes are affected. Hold the lids of your affected eye or eyes open.
    • Put your head down and turn it to the side. Then hold the lids of your affected eye open under a gently running faucet. If you have access to a work site eye-rinse station, use it.
    • Young children may do best if they lie down in the bathtub or lean back over a sink. Pour a gentle stream of water on the forehead over the affected eye or on the bridge of the nose to flush both eyes.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse your hands to be sure no chemical or soap is left on them.
  3. Remove contact lenses. If they don't come out during the flush, then take them out.

Caution

  • Don't rub the eye — this may cause further damage.
  • Don't put anything except water or contact lens saline rinse in the eye. And don't use eyedrops unless emergency personnel tell you to do so.

Seek emergency medical assistance

After following the above steps, seek emergency care by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) or call 911 or your local emergency number. Take the chemical container or the name of the chemical with you to the emergency provider. If readily available, wear sunglasses to help reduce sensitivity to light.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Jan. 06, 2022