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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11358
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I bought eye contacts, and when I put them into their case I

Customer Question

I bought eye contacts, and when I put them into their case I accidently put Rhinaris Saline Solution... Last night I wanted to wear them, so I took them out of the case, drained the solution and put them on... Immediately my eyes started to burn/sting/and were quite irritated... I took them out, realized that I had used nasal spray solution instead of contact solution... flushed my eyes out a couple of times with water, and my eyes have been watering since. They are still sensitive to the light, and very swollen... what do I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

You should flush your eyes with a large amount of saline for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you do not have saline, use clean tap water. Hold your eyes open with your fingers while you, or a friend, flushes them out.

Dr. Rick :

The contacts should be thrown out......

Customer:

ok, but it was a nasal saline solution that caused this

Customer:

my eyes are very swollen

Dr. Rick :

In the long run, while your eyes will be very irritated for the next 24 hours or so, you have most likely not done any permanent damage to your eyes. Yes. I understand that it is nasal saline.....it will cause swelling of the white part of your eye and, perhaps some damage to the skin on your cornea (corneal epithelium) but you will be OK.

Dr. Rick :

I do not believe, from what you have told me, that you need to go to the ER. Everything should be OK by tomorrow.

Customer:

do I still flush with water? warm? cold?

Dr. Rick :

Warm would be good. Flushing more won't hurt. Stay away from visine.....you can use artificial tears today and some lubricating ointment, such as refresh PM or lacrilube, tonight to soothe your irritated eye.

Customer:

my eyes are teary and watery...

Customer:

like I have been crying for a few hours already

Dr. Rick :

That is from chemical conjunctivitis and irritation, possible small abrasion, of your corneal epithelium.

Dr. Rick :

If you would feel better you could go to the ER but I bet they would only flush out your eye and give you a Rx for some bland eye antibiotics, such as erythromycin, and maybe patch your eye for the night. What you are doing at home will serve the same purpose.

Customer:

oh, will the crying stop? should I wait to use what you have recommended?

Customer:

I'd rather stay home

Dr. Rick :

No. Use it now. The crying will go on until things are better from the chemical that got in your eye. This crying is your body's way of soothing and flushing the eye.

Customer:

oh. I figured that. and you figure this will be better tomorrow?

Dr. Rick :

Of course, an ER physician will really not be able to do a full exam of your eye as she does not have the training or the equipment. If you can see an ophthalmologist in the ER then, from what you are telling me, it might be worth a trip. Otherwise try this stuff at home. If you are worried, or if it seems to be getting worse even with this home therapy then, of course, see an eye surgeon right away.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

yes, I think you will be much better tomorrow....maybe not back to 100%, but much better.....

Dr. Rick :

still there?

Dr. Rick :

I guess you have stepped away from your computer....

Customer:

yes

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else you would like to ask me?

Customer:

I'd rather stay home and I don't have an eye doctor, so I gues it's a matter of time for this to go away

Dr. Rick :

I think that is a good plan. I, truly, believe you will be OK :)

Customer:

I will throw out the contacts as well

Dr. Rick :

Absolutely....

Customer:

ok

Customer:

well thank you for your help

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. If you have any concerns you can come back to this thread, at no additional charge, and I'll be happy to help you some more. I hope you feel better soon...

Customer:

oh thank you... I'll definately keep that in mind :)

Dr. Rick :

Have a good day up in Canada, eh? :)

Customer:

lol yes

Customer:

you too :)

Dr. Rick :

Take care....and try not to do this again lol!

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.