How to Flush Your Eye

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Never use anything but warm water or contact lens saline solution to flush eyes.
Never use anything but warm water or contact lens saline solution to flush eyes. (Image: eye image by Pali A from Fotolia.com)

It's important to know the correct way to flush your eye in the event an emergency arises. If a foreign particle, object or chemical enters your eye you will need to stay calm, act fast, and flush the affected eye immediately. Try to avoid rubbing your eyes. Rubbing may cause further damage and will only make irritated eyes worse. Call 911 and seek emergency care if your eye is still irritated after you've flushed. If a chemical got into your eye write down the name of the chemical or bring the chemical container with you to the emergency room.

Flush the affected eye using clean, lukewarm tap water or contact lens saline solution. Get into the shower or tilt your head down and to the side underneath a faucet. The Mayo Clinic recommends flushing the eye for 20 minutes.

Hold the affected eye open underneath the stream of gently flowing water or saline solution. Young children may need to lie down in the bathtub as you gently hold open their eye.

Wash your hands with soap and water. This will ensure all chemicals and irritants have been removed so you won't further irritate or infect your eye.

Remove contact lenses if they did not already come out during the eye flush. Pat dry your face and eyes using a clean, soft towel.

Visit the emergency room or call 911 immediately if irritation persists. Stay calm until help arrives.

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