Means for washing the eyes are not only needed in high-risk places, such as chemical laboratories. This equipment should also be available in homes that have a lot of household cleaning agents as a help measure for children who are exposed to these hazardous materials. Even if it's not a dangerous condition, rinsing your eyes with water can help soothe tired eyes by increasing moisture and improving blood circulation. Medical practitioners may suggest eyewash treatments for other conditions as well. By knowing how to use an eyewash correctly, you can prepare yourself for the many conditions that require it.
Method 1 of 6: Determining the Right Way to Wash Your Eyes
Step 1. Determine if you need medical help
Certain types of materials can cause chemical burns and other complications. Read the label on the chemical package to make sure it is compatible with eye wash treatments. You can also call the poisoning emergency telephone number at (021) 4250767 or (021) 4227875 to ask how to treat certain chemicals in your eyes.
- You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms of nausea, vomiting, headache or dizziness, double vision, dizziness or loss of consciousness, and a rash or fever.
- If washing your eyes alone doesn't solve your problem, call the poison emergency telephone number or an ambulance immediately to seek medical attention. You can also ask someone else to accompany you and make sure you get the right treatment.
Step 2. Determine how long you should wash your eyes
The time you need to wash your eyes is determined by the type of material that gets into your eyes. The time required for this varies greatly. You should wash your eyes:
- for 5 minutes to deal with mild irritating chemicals, such as hand soap or shampoo
- for 20 minutes or more to treat moderate to severe chemical irritants, including chilies
- for 20 minutes to deal with corrosive materials that cannot penetrate the eyes, such as acid in vehicle batteries
- at least 60 minutes to treat corrosive substances that can penetrate the eye such as alkaline compounds in household cleaners (drain cleaners, bleach, and ammonia)
Step 3. Prepare an eyewash solution at home
Commercial eyewash solutions are available in sterile packaging with a neutral pH of 7.0. This means that eyewash solutions are a better choice than plain water.
Step 4. Use sterile water
If you don't have an eyewash solution, try using sterile water. Tap water still contains harmful elements that can irritate your eyes even more.
- You can also use bottled drinking water.
- Milk can relieve stinging caused by foods such as chili. However, also use a sterile solution to rinse your eyes. Make sure that the milk you use has not gone stale, because it can carry bacteria into the eye.
Step 5. Make sure the temperature of the solution is appropriate
You should make sure not to use liquids straight from the refrigerator, especially when using milk or bottled water. No matter what type of liquid you choose to wash your eyes, the temperature should be 15-37°C.
Step 6. Decide how to use the eyewash solution
You need a safe and clean way to rinse your eyes with water or an eyewash solution. Household appliances that you can use include a bowl, a small cup, or a dropper. Whatever device you use, wash it thoroughly with soap and water and allow it to dry before using it to collect sterile water or eyewash solution.
- A bowl is the best choice, whether it's for cleaning dirt, removing foreign objects, or simply rinsing tired eyes. The bowl should be big enough to fit your entire face in it.
- You can also use a small cup that fits the size of your eyeball, such as a shot glass. However, this method should only be used to clean impurities from the eyes or rinse tired eyes, not to remove foreign objects from the eyes.
- You should avoid using the dropper under most conditions, and only use it for tired, dry eyes.
Step 7. Don't hesitate to wash off the chemical
After all the explanations above, sometimes the handling time is the most decisive. Especially when dealing with exposure to acidic or alkaline compounds. Cleaning the chemical by washing it off as soon as possible is much more important than finding a sterile solution, making sure the temperature is right, etc. If you are exposed to corrosive materials, even tap water in the sink is OK.
The longer you leave the alkaline/acidic compound on the surface of the eye, the more serious the injury will be. So, try to get this compound out of your eyes as quickly as possible
Method 2 of 6: Washing Eyes with a Bowl
Step 1. Prepare the bowl
Washing the eyes with a bowl is the main way of rinsing eyes that are exposed to dirt or foreign objects. This method is also ideal for relieving tired eyes. The size of the cleaned bowl should be large enough to accommodate your entire face.
Step 2. Fill the bowl with the eyewash solution
Make sure the temperature is between 15-37 °C, whether you use an eye wash solution or water. Do not fill the bowl to the brim, as the contents will spill out when you put your face under it.
Step 3. Immerse your face in the bowl
Take a deep breath and dip your entire face into the bowl so that the solution hits your eyes. Make sure not to tilt your face forward too much to prevent the solution from getting into your nose.
Step 4. Open and roll your eyeballs
Make sure that the entire surface of the eye is exposed to water. Rotating the eyeball can also help the water to penetrate all over it, so that foreign objects or impurities can be removed.
Step 5. Lift your face from the bowl then blink
Lift your face out of the solution. Make sure the solution hits your entire eye evenly by blinking a few times.
Step 6. Repeat as needed
To relieve dry, tired eyes, you may simply bury your face 1 or 2 times. Also, pay attention to the guide in Method 1 to find out how long it takes to rinse your eyes of impurities.
Again, don't over-wash your eyes. However, if you are exposed to irritants, especially chemicals, you can wash your eyes for longer than the recommended time
Step 7. Use a clean towel to dry your face
Don't wipe the towel all over your eyes at once. Simply pat your closed eyes dry with a clean towel.
Method 3 of 6: Washing Eyes with a Cup
Step 1. Do not use this method if a foreign object gets into your eye
This method is best suited for washing tired eyes. If your eyes are contaminated, the most appropriate way is to use a bowl as described earlier. Consult with an ophthalmologist first to use this method in addition to washing tired eyes.
Step 2. Fill a small clean cup with the eyewash solution
You will need a cup that is close to the size of your eyeball. A clean shot glass is one of the smaller diameter glasses that is suitable for this method.
The temperature of the eyewash solution or sterile water should be between 15-37 °C
Step 3. Place the cup so that your eyes can enter it
Bend your head forward toward the cup. Glue the rim of the cup around your eyeball.
Step 4. Bend your head back
While keeping the cup to the eyeball, bend your head back so that your eyes and the bottom of the cup are pointing upwards. That way, the sterile solution or water will hit the eye directly.
Be prepared, because some of the solution in the cup will spill. Bend over to the sink while doing this so the solution won't run down your face and wet your clothes. If you are worried, put a towel around your neck to prevent water spills on your body
Step 5. Look around you and blink
By looking around, you're helping to spread the solution across the eyeball, so it will either moisten, or wash away any impurities inside.
Step 6. Repeat as needed
You can then dip your eyes into the cup without spilling the contents. Washing your eyes once may be enough to relieve dry, tired eyes. However, you may have to repeat it to clear impurities from inside your eyes.
Step 7. Use a clean towel to dry your face
Don't wipe the towel all over your eyes at once. Just pat your eyes closed with a clean, dry towel.
Method 4 of 6: Washing Eyes with a Dropper
Step 1. Do not use this method if a foreign object gets into your eye
This method is most suitable for washing tired eyes or in children who refuse other methods. If you get dirt on your eyes, the ideal way is to use a bowl as described earlier.
Step 2. Fill a clean dropper with the solution
Dip the tip of a clean dropper in the solution or water, then press and release to draw the water into it.
You can also use a syringe without a needle, because this tool is sold in sterile conditions
Step 3. Press the dropper to dispense a few drops of the solution into your eye
Bend your head back, place the dropper over your open eye, and squeeze until a few drops of its contents come out.
Be sure not to touch the dropper with your eye or eyelashes
Step 4. Blink a few times
Blink several times to spread the solution over the entire surface of the eye. Try to blink before the solution flows out of your eyes and onto your face.
Step 5. Repeat as needed
You may only need a few drops to refresh dry, tired eyes. However, you may have to repeat this method several times to get the impurities out of your eyes.
Step 6. Try using a towel
Another method you can use on children is to dip a clean towel in the solution and then rub it over the child's closed eyes. Even if you just rub gently, the pressure of the towel will release the solution into the child's eyelids and eyelashes. Furthermore, this solution will clean the children's eyes evenly when they blink.
Repeat as needed, but don't dip equal parts of the towel in the solution to keep it clean. Use another corner of the towel, or replace it with a new towel
Method 5 of 6: Making Your Own Eyewash Larutan
Step 1. Bring the water to a boil
It's important to remember that packaged sterile eyewash solutions are a better option than homemade ones. However careful you are, there is always a risk of serious eye irritation or infection.
However, if you understand the risks and still want to continue making your own eyewash, there are steps you can take to ensure that your solution is as safe and clean as possible. Start by boiling a pot of water to kill any bacteria and other organisms in it that could contaminate your eyes. Bring the water to a full boil for at least 1 minute, and then cool before using.
- If possible, use purified, sterile water instead of regular tap water. Tap water contains more bacteria and other ingredients than sterile water.
- If you don't want to make an eye wash solution, you can replace it with tap water. However, be aware that tap water is more irritating to the eyes and a higher risk of carrying bacteria, etc.
Step 2. Add salt to the water
To make a homemade eyewash, add a teaspoon of table salt to each cup of water while it simmers. The more similar the solution you make to the natural salinity of your tears, the softer it will feel to your eyes. Although the salinity of tears varies according to the feeling that caused them to come out (pain, sadness, etc.) or simply to lubricate the eyes during daily use, tears usually contain less than 1% salt (by weight).
Step 3. Stir to dissolve the salt
Make sure the added salt is dissolved in the water. While the water is boiling, and since you're only adding a small amount, you shouldn't have to stir much to dissolve it. Stir until there are no more solid grains of salt remaining at the bottom of the pan.
Step 4. Allow the solution to cool
Never use eye wash that is still hot. Serious injury or even blindness can result from applying hot water to the eye. Remove the solution from the stove and allow it to cool to room temperature. You can transfer the solution to a different container, as long as it has been washed with soap and rinsed with sterile water. When the solution reaches room temperature (or cooler), you can use it.
- Cover the pot while the solution has cooled to prevent any new impurities from getting into it.
- Cold eyewash solution can provide a refreshing effect when applied to the eyes. However, do not refrigerate it below 15 °C. The temperature of the solution that is too cold will cause pain and even damage your eyes slightly.
- Even if you try hard to keep your solution clean, be sure to throw it away after 1 or 2 days. Bacteria can re-enter the solution after boiling.
Method 6 of 6: Rinsing Your Eyes in an Emergency
Step 1. Know what injuries to rinse immediately
In some cases, such as if your eyes are exposed to serious irritants or impurities, you do not need to rinse them. However, you should seek medical attention immediately. If your eyes are splashed with an acidic, alkaline (base), corrosive, or other irritating chemical, quick stop your activity and rinse eyes with water.
Step 2. Call the poisoning emergency telephone number
You can call emergency poisoning services at (021) 4250767 or (021) 4227875 and ask for advice. They may advise you to wash your eyes or seek immediate medical attention according to the chemical causing it.
- For example, some chemicals, such as most alkali metals, will react strongly to water. Poisoning emergency services can provide appropriate advice for your condition.
- If they advise you to call an ambulance and rinse your eyes, get someone to call an ambulance while you rinse your eyes. The sooner you get medical help at the hospital, the better chance you have of avoiding serious injury or blindness.
Step 3. Use an eyewash
Most places where there is a risk of splashing hazardous chemicals have special eyewash kits to deal with them. Use the eyewash immediately, press the lever (it should be brightly colored and easy to reach), then place your face in front of the funnel that will spray low pressure water. Open your eyes as wide as possible. You may even need to hold your eyes wide open with your fingers.
Step 4. Wash your eyes for 15 minutes
Water is not capable of neutralizing many chemicals. Water is only able to thin and clean it, therefore, you need a lot of rinse water. The volume of water used for rinsing should not be less than 1.5 liters/minute for 15 minutes.
Step 5. Use tap water if an eyewash is not available
If you cannot reach the eyewash immediately, use the nearest sink as soon as possible. While tap water is not ideal for washing your eyes, because it is not as sterile as water that has been purified in the laboratory, what is far more important than the risk of infection is cleaning chemicals from the eyes. Splash water into the open eye as much as possible. Keep cleaning your eyes with water for 15-20 minutes.
If the faucet in the sink is adjustable, point it at your eyes and turn on the lukewarm water with moderate pressure, then hold your eye with your finger
Step 6. Seek medical attention
If emergency poisoning services advise you to seek medical attention after rinsing your eyes, see a doctor or hospital immediately.
- Be sure to apply a new solution in each eye to prevent possible spread of bacteria.
- Some pharmacies sell eyewash kits that contain an eye-sized cup, and a sterile eyewash solution.
- Don't overuse salt. Salt levels that are too high can cause cells to burst, causing discomfort or even pain.
- Follow all safety rules when working with chemicals, such as wearing eye protection. While not completely guaranteeing you're protected from injury, safety rules can significantly reduce the risk.
- Do not use water that is too hot or too cold.