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Eye Flushing - Topic Overview

Flushing your eye may help relieve mild eye symptoms and is the most important first aid measure for a chemical substance in the eye. The sooner you get a chemical out of the eye, the less damage it may do.

If you are wearing contacts, remove them before flushing your eye. If you are not able to remove a contact, flush your eye with the contact in.

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Flush the eye from the inner corner toward the outer corner. This prevents a substance in the eye from washing into the other eye. Flushing the eye will be easier if you have someone who can help you.

Any of the following may be done to flush the eye. You must hold the eyelids open while you:

  • Stand under a shower with open eyes.
  • Put your face under a running faucet.
  • Use a kitchen sink sprayer at low pressure.
  • Immerse your face in a sink or pan filled with water.
  • Run water from a garden hose over your eye (do not use the spray nozzle).
  • Pour water from a pitcher or jug over your eye.

Do not use alcohol to flush the eye.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 30, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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