Solvents and the Eyes

Solvents and Eyes

Solvents can be a real danger to your eyes.  A chemical eye injury is an emergency and should be treated as such!  Symptoms include: A burning sensation in the eye after exposure to a solvent (or any chemical), excessive tearing, pain, redness on the eye and eyelid surface, blurred vision.  These symptoms can last from hours to days, depending on the type of chemical and  the amount.  You should always wear goggles whenever working around solvents. 

Some solvents are absorbed through the eyes.  If your eye is exposed to solvents, the most important way you can limit the damage is to start flushing the eye with water immediately for at least 10-15 minutes. Use a strong steady stream of clean water. Arrange for immediate transportation to a hospitabel to be evaulated by a doctor. Continue the flushing until you are ready to go.  If you can’t put your eye under a faucet, have someone help you. You can lie down on your side or hold your head sideways over a sink, and they can pour water from a cup across your eye while you hold the eyelids open. If water is not available, you can use milk or even a soft drink.  If you have contacts in, do not try and remove them.  DO NOT rub your eyes!