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what should you do if you get isopropyl alcohol in your eyes?

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Long story short I managed to get a drop of isopropyl alcohol 70% directly into my left eyeball and it did not really sting but I immediately went and washed it out repeatedly and now the eye stings, will I go blind from this?

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what happens if you get 91% rubbing alcohol in your eye

asked Jun 7, 2017 in Health by Joseph

3 Answers

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No, this won't be dangerous. It will irritate your eye a bit temporarily, but the main danger (given that you've washed it out well) is that your eye will absorb the isopropanol and it will poison you. It's going to take waaaay more than a quickly flushed out drop to cause adverse effects in this manner, nor are there any long-term or cumulative effects of isopropanol poisoning.
Don't worry, I've spilled it on myself on multiple occasions in much greater quantities than that, and I'm still kicking.
answered Jun 7, 2017 by javornik1270
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Isopropyl alcohol in the eye?
I have a question for any optometrists out there. I was cleaning my forehead recently with rubbing alcohol, and a tiny bit accidently found its way into my eye. I immediately used saline to "wash" it away. I was wondering if this tiny bity of 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol could have any long-term detrimental effects to my vision. As of right now, I'm able to see fine when I wear my contacts.
answered Jun 7, 2017 by jasoniscarl
You should try running cool water over your eye for at least 15 minutes or until the burning is stopped. Things can be absorbed through the eye and isopropyl is poisonous, so it should be washed out. Alcohol has a different ph to the eye and can burn it, so it needs to be rinsed off. The sooner you do this the less likely there will be any damage.
Normal saline is unnecessary, nor does washing it have to be sterile use tap water if it is drinkable it will be fine and run it over the eye. If you still feel burning rinse it again, and again. If after you have done this and you still feel burning or pain, then you should go to the emergency.
A small speck of alcohol in the eye that has been rinsed out quickly, and if you have no more burning or pain, you will more than likely be fine.
What you need to do depends on how much actually got in the eye. Sometimes the fumes from the alcohol can sting the eye and make you think you have gotten some in the eye and nothing went in, in this case you are fine.
Rubbing Alcohol is too strong for your face and can result in severe drying and lead to wrinkles. I would suggest in the future a gentle cream cleanser.
I was chasing a roach the other day (alcohol kills them faster than raid, with no poison). Melts their exoskeleton instantly, works on all bugs btw. Anyway during my hunt I slipped and splashed a large dose of ISO alcohol in my left eye. Burned like hell. Tap water helped but of course it took a day for the burning to completely stop. It's been a couple days now and I'm fine.
Personal experience
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What would (biochemically) happen to the eyes if you accidentally got alcohol into them?
answered Jun 7, 2017 by alanna
In previous times pure alcohol was used to soften and remove the epithelium, the outer most layer of the cornea, the 'window' at the front of the eye. If the cornea was damaged and not healing it was felt better to start over and grow and entire new epithelium. So the eye in question was anesthetised, alcohol instilled and the cornea 'rubbed' off , with a small spill. Unfortunately, although healing would occur surprising rapidly (approx 24 hours), that day would be one of exceptional pain. So, alcohol in the eye softens the epithelium and would make the cornea susceptible to damage. At a cellular level the alcohol coagulates the cell wall proteins and thereby breaks their bond to Bowmans Layer (the tough layer beneath the epithelium) allowing the epithelium to slough off.
Alcoholic drinks have a relatively low alcohol content compared to medical alcohol. The same processes would occur, but at a much reduced level. Possibly a pure undiluted spirit accidentally in the eye would cause mild damage (and consequently some stinging and irritation).
The most common alcohol related eye accident happens at the perfume counter when someone, often a child, pays insufficient attention to the direction of spray and gets it in the eye. If you can get the eye open to examine it one finds some of the epithelial cells have 'popped' do to protein coagulation of the cell walls. It's painful, but, again, back to normal in 24 hours (prophylactic antiseptic drops and copious lubrication).

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