What Are the Signs I Need an Eye Flush?

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Eye flushing isn’t something a person needs to do regularly, but it is important to familiarize yourself with when and how to flush your eyes should it become necessary. Use the helpful information below from Eye Specialists of Napa Valley to better understand eye flushing, including what it is, how to perform an eye flush, and what signs and symptoms may mean you need to flush your eyes.

What is an eye flush?

An eye flush is a tactic that involves thoroughly rinsing – or flushing – the eyes with water or a specialized solution. Most often, eye flushing is performed when someone has a foreign body, debris, chemicals, or bodily fluids in their eye(s) as the result of an accident or injury.

When do you need to flush your eyes?

There is no harm in flushing your eyes regularly, though it is not necessarily needed. Again, eye flushing is most often performed to rinse away debris or irritants that inadvertently came into contact with the eye. Some of the signs and symptoms that may mean you need to flush your eye(s) right away include:

  • Stinging eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Irritated eyes
  • Foreign body in the eye
  • Debris in the eyes
  • Chemical or irritant in the eyes
  • Blood or bodily fluid in the eyes

Can you perform an eye flush on your own?

Yes. Eye flushes can be performed yourself or by a trusted friend or loved one nearby. For serious situations, such as when a harmful chemical has been splashed in the eye, it is critical to go ahead and perform an eye flush on your own rather than waiting to see a doctor – though patients should still have a thorough medical evaluation and treatment conducted following a self-performed eye flush. The provider may also perform a second flush to ensure all of the debris or irritant has been rinsed from the eye.

How long should you flush your eyes?

Eye flushes can vary in length based on the reason for the eye flush, what is in the eye, the severity of the patient’s symptoms, and other factors. On average, patients should attempt to flush their eye(s) for at least 15 – 20 minutes for mild irritants and debris, while harsh chemical irritants may require up to an hour of eye flushing.

When should you not flush your eye?

Invasive eye injuries – including lacerations, tears, scratches, or penetrations – should be evaluated and treated right away. In these cases, flushing the eyes may not be recommended, as it can cause worsening symptoms, infection, and other complications. When in doubt, call Eye Specialists of Napa Valley to speak with one of our knowledgeable professionals to determine the most appropriate course of action. For serious or life-threatening conditions, visit your nearest emergency room right away.

Keep your eyes clear and healthy with our award-winning team of ophthalmologists in Napa, CA

Vision is one of the most valuable assets we have. With regular eye exams, cutting-edge treatments and procedures, and an eye-healthy lifestyle, patients can protect their eyes and enjoy clear vision at virtually any age. To learn more about keeping your eyes in tip-top shape, call Eye Specialists of Napa Valley to schedule your consultation today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.