What to do if you get hand sanitiser in your eye - Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital

What to do if you get hand sanitiser in your eye

What to do if you get hand sanitiser in your eye

The introduction of strict hand hygiene is essential for control of the Coronavirus pandemic.  It has also created new challenges for our eyes. One of the frequent enquiries we have had is what to do when hand sanitiser, or other alcohol-based rubs, gets into the eye and causes a burning sensation. 

If this happens, we recommend the following:

  • Remain calm, whilst the experience may be very painful, no permanent damage to the eye will occur 
  • Keep your hands away from your eye and avoid rubbing the eye so as not to get more of the solution or rub in them. If possible, rinse the alcohol off your hands with water.
  • If you have eye drops, such as Tears Naturale, Optive, Systain or Xailin, place a few drops into your irritated eye as this will help soothe your eye. Tilt your head back, pull the lower lid down with your index finger and place 1-2 drops in the pouch that is formed.  You can repeat every ten minutes if necessary. If you are unable to do this yourself, we suggest you ask a friend or family member to help.
  • If the alcohol-based rub was sprayed into your eyes, rinse your eyes out with clean water ONLY for about 3-5 minutes. Run the tap, splashing water into your eye, keeping your eye open throughout.  Alternatively, you can fill a basin or bucket with clean water and put your face into the bowl, keeping your eyes open (similar to swimming with your eyes open). If you have to hand you can then place eye drops into the eye as described above.

If you are unsure what to do, you may always contact Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital for guidance and advice via our social media, website, email or call 033 845 2020.

Comments are closed.