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When and How You Should Use an Eye Wash

Eye injuries can occur in any number of ways, but there are a few injuries that school nurses typically encounter that require the use of an eye wash. They include:

  • Foreign bodies such as dust, dirt and other stray particles can scratch the eye or become embedded in its surface.
  • Blood from an injury to oneself a or another child can get into the eye.
  • Chemicals can get into the eye, especially this year with disinfectants as a result of combating COVID-19.

Regardless of how these eye injuries are obtained, the use of an eye wash will help the healing process. Here is how to wash the eye:

  1. Remove contact lenses. If possible, do this before flushing the eye. Otherwise, a contact lens could trap chemicals or debris, making symptoms worse.
  2. Find the correct position. Begin by tilting the head down, with the affected eye at the lowest point. This prevents materials from spreading to the opposite eye. The water or solution should flow from the inner eye to the outer corner.
  3. Use eye wash that contains sterile isotonic buffered solution. This will neutralize acid burns, alkali burns, and flush out foreign debris. Chemical burns should be irrigated as soon as possible.
  4. Flush the eye. Use the eye wash for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the eye open for as long as possible, allowing the eye wash to travel across the eye. The individual should look up, down, and to the sides while flushing the eye to ensure that no chemicals or debris are trapped under the eyelids. The eye wash pressure should be steady but not so strong that it hurts the eye.
  5. Don’t let the individual rub the eye.
  6. Seek medical assistance. If a chemical is involved, take the product container when seeking medical attention.

Click here for more eye flush tips from Medical News Today.

Eye injuries can go from bad to worse very fast. Especially with young children who may be quicker to touch or rub the affected eye, it is important to get the eye wash process started as soon as possible.

To shop MacGill eye wash products, click here.

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