help flushing eye
January 11, 2011 11:33 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend doused her eye in shampoo, and now she's in agony. How can I help?

Minutes ago, my girlfriend inadvertently squeezed a huge amount of shampoo out of the bottle, and most of it got into her eye. Now she's in agony. Her eye is very red, and she can't see well out of it. There are two patches of her vision that are white.

I don't know what to do. We are in a Foreign country on the day of our travel home. I don't have any experience with doctors overseas. Does she need a doctor? What can we do to help flush the eye? What steps should I take next?

Thank you all so much.
posted by scarylarry to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Hold the eye open and run coldish water in/across it. Now.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:41 PM on January 11, 2011

How to flush eyes:
posted by mollymayhem at 11:45 PM on January 11, 2011

Flush the eye with water.
If you have a clean cup, put some room-temperature water in the cup and have her hold it up against her eye, opening the eye, to rinse. Repeat. (This is more gentle than trying to run running water over the eye)

If she can continue flushing with water and you can get to a store that sells saline solution (plain saline for contacts, not "cleanser" or medicated eyedrops or anything like that), get a couple of bottles of that and flush the eye with it. A first-aid "eye cup" is even better if you can find one at a store. Flush flush flush. affirmation of this at another place, tho not authoriatative
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:51 PM on January 11, 2011

Flush her eye with water from the shower until she can't stand it, and then flush it a little longer. Her eye's gonna hurt like hell all day and her vision is gonna be wonky.

What country are you in? In the States, I would call poison control.
posted by dchrssyr at 11:52 PM on January 11, 2011

Flush her eye with water from the shower until she can't stand it

er, unless you have really hard water pressure in your shower. This is why internet strangers are not always the best first aid solution go to.
posted by dchrssyr at 11:54 PM on January 11, 2011

Even if you think you've flushed the eye enough, flush it more. You might think it's been enough, but probably not! You can help your girlfriend be more comfortable by not panicking. Also, if you have a bathtub, fold a towel and put in on the edge. Have her sit down on the floor, rest her neck on the towel, and support her head while you rinse her eye.
posted by Mizu at 11:54 PM on January 11, 2011

Thank you all so much for your help. We were very surprised and nervous about how much pain she was in and how obstructed her vision was. But ten minutes or so of flushing have helped a lot, and it looks like things are going to improve from here. We're both so appreciative.

She's going to get a bottle of Visine for the plane and flush till we land.
posted by scarylarry at 11:57 PM on January 11, 2011

To help more, or if this every happens to you again the best method is getting salt and a shot glass.

You can put salt and warm water into a shot glass. Then you can hold the shot glass over the eye and then roll the eye around. It's much more helpful than just water.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:06 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

She's going to get a bottle of Visine for the plane and flush till we land.

Please don't get Visine. It's medicated and it will only make the stinging worse. Get PLAIN saline eye drops only.

Another trick for relief after the initial flushing. Hold a clean, wet paper towel or washcloth against the inside corner of your closed eye.
posted by amyms at 12:21 AM on January 12, 2011

I would use saline rather than Visine.

Unless there is a different Visine product than the one I'm familiar with (eye drops, usually in a small bottle), Visine doesn't have any health benefits for eyes; it just removes redness by constricting visible blood vessels. Saline, on the other hand, is a liquid that's formulated to be gentle/neutral toward the eyes.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:23 AM on January 12, 2011

Seconding - you want saline, not visine.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:29 AM on January 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, thank you both for the Visine clarification. We will be sure to get a saline bottle instead. Metafilter swoops to our aid again!
posted by scarylarry at 12:34 AM on January 12, 2011

I've found an eyeflush to be most effective when it's somewhat forceful. Obviously, contact lenses should be removed. You use a water bottle for this. Aim the stream at the inside corner of the eye; the water will travel outward. Process can be aided by placing your thumb on their eyebrow and using it to gently hold their eye open. Give a well-aimed, forceful squirt at the inside of their eye, moving outward slightly.

It's a bit disorienting for the person receiving it, so don't go about doing it if they don't know what you're up to.

If you've done it well, their eye will feel very very dry. That's because along with the irritant, you've removed the eye's lubricants.
posted by entropone at 5:50 AM on January 12, 2011

Saline is a much better idea, the stuff you might get in a drug store is ideal, however if you're ever stuck away from one you can make saline with one pinch of salt for every liter of water.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:29 AM on January 12, 2011

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