Cooking oil is a major hazard in the kitchen. It often splatters when hot and can splash into the eye and cause a burn. Compared with hot water, hot oil poses a greater risk of damage due to its higher boiling point and higher viscosity. Therefore it is important to protect the eyes from this hazard and be prepared to respond in case an eye injury occurs. Here are ways to prevent and mange eye burns caused by hot oil splash.
Prevention of eye burns from hot oil splashes
- Never drop food or wet materials suddenly into hot oil.
- Fry with low heat and use a grease shield or lid over the pan.
- Wear a light weight safety glasses. It is advisable to always have one in a convenient spot in your kitchen so that you can easily reach it when needed.
Management of eye burns from hot oil splashes
Sometimes hot oil splashes occur even with precautions. In this case, you need to act quickly to minimize damage to the eye. Here are steps you should take:
- Flush the eye immediately with a lot of clean water.
- If the oil splash was a minor one and you experience little discomfort without any vision loss after flushing the eye, you can use over-the-counter artificial tears to lubricate the eye and minimize the discomfort. If symptoms do not improve, see your eye doctor.
- If a lot of hot oil splashed in or around your eye or you experience severe pain even after flushing the eye, see your eye doctor immediately for evaluation and treatment.
Note: The risk of eye infection increases with burns. So, pay attention to your eyes even if the burn is a minor one. If you observe any of the signs of eye infection consult your eye doctor.