Tips for Kitchen Eye Safety
Did you know that the kitchen can be a source of many common eye hazards? Preparing healthy, nutritious and delicious meals for family and friends is mainstay of American life! But, based on what we see and hear from patients, preparing those meals can be hazardous and requires a few tips and safety strategies to make them the most enjoyable. As is ALWAYS the case with eye injuries, Prevention is the Best Strategy!
Hot Grease & Splatter
When frying, sautéing or using oil use caution and consider “cooking glasses” as a means of protection. 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.
Bubbling Sauces & Splashes
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 because they 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.
When you chop jalapeño peppers or 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. If pepper or spice oils end up in your eye, flush with plenty of water and then wash your eyelids and the area around your eye with baby shampoo. Never put any soap directly in your eye.
Raw meat is not a safe or effective treatment for black eyes. In cartoons and old movies, people often put a raw steak on a black eye. This is not safe. The bacteria on raw meat can cause a serious eye infection. Other packaged frozen foods, like bagged frozen vegetables, could be contaminated by bacteria in your freezer or kitchen. It’s safer to use an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a clean towel. Please call us if you develop any serious symptoms after getting a black eye, particularly redness, pain, flashes of light or floaters-and especially if you experience continued blurred vision!
Prevention of kitchen eye injury is a great strategy for enjoying cooking. Use protective eyewear and caution to avoid any risks. If you experience and type of eye injury or irritation please feel free to call us and an eye doctor will be happy to see you. Please call us at The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090 at (908) 789-8999, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, NJ 07059 at (908) 754-4800 or 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, NJ 08830 at (732) 636-7355, or visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or Facebook.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center, an affiliate of Prism Vision Group, is located at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, and is easy to reach for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.