How much should I worry? Oven air in face/eyes.
April 4, 2021 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Blast of hot air from oven burned eyes?

Was baking buns at 375. First I opened the oven and turned the around for a few extra cooking minutes.
Five minutes later, opened oven -- bending down to get trays - and a gust of hot air felt like it blasted me.
My face feels burned across the bridge of the nose and it felt like it hurt my eyes.
Since burns often take quite a while to actually manifest, am I in danger of realizing later tonight that I actually burned my eyeballs? Just by taking something out of the oven?
I seriously do not want to go to the ER if I don't have to.
posted by nantucket to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I do this once a week, you're going to be fine!
posted by noloveforned at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2021 [24 favorites]

Best answer: Eye drops (lubricating kind, not for red eye) might help your eyes feel better faster.
posted by metahawk at 4:00 PM on April 4, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Just once a week, noloveforned?

You're gonna be fine.
posted by General Malaise at 4:31 PM on April 4, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: None of us are doctors, and we're not there to give you definitive answers. That having been said, I remember recently hearing about how our somatic nervous system acts so quickly to protect us from burning ourselves that it's actually faster than the "thought" nerve signal -- and that we then literally 'rewrite' our mental history of that event to make us think we did it voluntarily. Here's a little info on it. Just in case that makes you feel better at all.
posted by metabaroque at 4:47 PM on April 4, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Having done this approximately one million times, I would bet money that you’re fine. In the future, open the door and then flap your potholder like a fan for a few seconds before sticking your face in.
posted by HotToddy at 4:52 PM on April 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I'm usually weirdly careful when opening the oven door so this hasn't happened to me before, but I realize it must be very common! Thanks so much for the reassurance.
posted by nantucket at 4:59 PM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Since I do not cook very often, I have not done this often, but my rate per cooking is prolly 92.7%. First time I put a very cold washcloth on my face. Since then, nothing. If you actually burned your eyeballs, you would KNOW it.
posted by AugustWest at 5:34 PM on April 4, 2021

Best answer: I do know several people who burnt their eyeballs and did not notice right away, but they were all hours-long exposures to UV light (one poorly-trained use of lab equipment, the rest snow-blindness). None of them noticed it while it was happening - it's like a sunburn where the effects are cumulative.

I'm not a doctor but I think with a single short burst of heat you would notice a burn right away.

Also FWIW all those people have perfectly good vision now, and IIRC the treatment is usually rest, eyedrops as needed, cold compresses, and OTC pain meds. Corneas are basically weird clear skin and they usually grow back as good as ever.
posted by mskyle at 5:47 PM on April 4, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I blew up a kitchen once. Like huge fireball blew up a kitchen. Took my eyelashes off, one eyebrow, and burnt the tip of my nose. The fire flash-boiled the tears off of my eyeballs, and I couldn't blink for a few moments after.

Rattled me pretty good, but I've had no ill effects in the intervening 25 years. If anything seems amiss, please do go see a doctor, but if you feel ok right now, I'm willing to hazard a guess that you'll be ok.

In any case, good luck!
posted by transitional procedures at 8:15 PM on April 4, 2021 [10 favorites]

Like lots of others, I've done the same with the oven. Never a problem, and then for a while, I remember to let it cool for a sec (or flap my hand at it) before leaning down, lol.

I wanted to add on to metabaroque's comment, though, about how fast we subconsciously respond. Quite a few years back, I was cleaning a large flat grill at work, scraping it away from myself, and somehow it POPPED and a large amount of pure grease splashed on my face. It was in a line, from my forehead, down across my eyelid and cheek. I saw it pop, and yet somehow blinked fast enough that the burn - and grease - was on the outside of my eyelid, none got in my eye.

We really do react crazy FAST to protect our eyes, even when we don't have any intent to, and I'd imagine that's why so many of us manage do something similar to what you did, and yet there's so little damage as a result.
posted by stormyteal at 9:12 PM on April 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

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