If an individual has a pepper spray and accidentally gets in contact with the eyes, it can result to extreme pain since the capsaicin in the solution causes a severe burning sensation. If by accident you sprayed the solution to your eyes or to another person, there are first aid measures that you can perform in order to treat the affected eye as well as stop the pain from spreading.
First aid treatments for pepper spray exposure
You can perform these first aid treatments if an individual accidently or improperly used pepper spray.
Towel soaked in milk
One of the household items that you can use to treat eye exposure to pepper spray is whole milk. This works as a good reliever of pain for pepper spray since the fat content inhibits the capsaicin from working on the nerve endings present in the body.
You have to add the milk in any container and immerse a towel. Instruct the individual to close their eyes and hold the towel on the affected eye. This treatment is effective since it treats the eyelids and the surrounding areas close to the eye where the capsaicin has embedded. Leave the towel soaked in milk on every eye for a few minutes or as long as it provides relief. After each use, you have to dispose of the towel.
Application of saline and cool water
Instruct the individual to avoid rubbing the eyes after contact with pepper spray. Even though it seems like the natural reaction, rubbing the eyes will only intensify the effects of capsaicin, increasing the pain and eventually spreading the effects to other body parts.
If the individual uses contact lenses, they must be removed right away. Take note that they cannot be cleaned once the capsaicin oils have attached on them, thus they must be disposed. In case the hands of the individual still has leftover residue from the pepper spray, you will be the one to assist with the removal of the lens.
Instruct the individual to rapidly blink the eyes so that moisture is produced required to remove the pepper spray. Always remember that this will not provide immediate relief, but will allow the eyes to wash out the solution.
You have to flush water over the eyes to eliminate the solution. Instruct the individual not to touch his/her eyes since it will only intensify the pain.
Once the burning sensation has subsided, you can apply saline solution to every eye in order to help with the washing out of the solution. The individual must continue to blink after the saline has been applied.
Application of an ice pack
After applying the remedies discussed, you have to apply an ice pack over the eyes which will provide relief to the burning sensation. Instruct the individual to continue holding the ice pack over the eyes as long as needed. Take note that pepper spray burns usually take up to 15-45 minutes to subside, depending on the amount of pepper spray that accidentally entered the eyes.