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Kitchen Eye Safety Tips

Hot cooking oil and grease can easily splash onto the eye and burn your cornea

Nutritious meals can help protect your eyes for a lifetime. But preparing those meals can be dangerous. Avoid common eye hazards and stay safe in the kitchen with these tips.

Hot grease can splatter and burn your eye

Hot cooking oil and grease can easily splash onto the eye and burn your cornea. This fairly common injury can be avoided by wearing glasses or, at the very least, using a grease shield or lid on the pan. 

If hot grease splashes in your eye, immediately flush it with plenty of water. This will remove the grease and any particles. Don’t use anti-redness drops to rinse your eye.

Artificial tears may soothe your eyes after a small grease splash but see your eye doctor as soon as possible if there is obvious injury, excessive pain, continuing symptoms or you’re worried about your eye. You may be more susceptible to eye infections or other eye injuries while your eye is healing.

Watch out for bubbling sauces and splashing liquids

Any liquid that splashes in your eye can be uncomfortable. But food liquids may be especially dangerous. Fluids from food are often acidic and can cause your eyes to tear up and sting.  Some foods, like raw chicken liquid, contain bacteria that could cause an eye infection. Simmering sauces can splash out of the pot and burn or blister your eye.

If this happens, flush your eye with plenty of water.  See an eye doctor right away if you see any damage to your eye or if any of your symptoms continue.

Spicy residues can stick to your fingers and end up in your eye

When you chop jalapeño peppers and use other spicy ingredients, your fingers retain oily residues that can end up in your eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly after preparing food. Or better yet, wear gloves while chopping vegetables and working with spices.

Cleaning chemicals can cause blinding eye injuries

Cleaning products are among the top eye hazards in the kitchen. You should always wear eye protection when working with cleaning chemicals. Bleach, oven cleaners and other cleaning chemicals can cause serious, blinding eye injuries. If you get any cleaning products in your eyes, immediately flush with plenty of water and seek medical attention. The longer the exposure, the worse the damage can be.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology