While it doesn't seem prudent to put something containing "acid" in your eyes, boric acid is one of the tried and true remedies for those suffering from eye irritation or discomfort. Over-the-counter options are available, but making your own solution is moderately easy and inexpensive, and your homemade brand won't contain preservatives, which may increase irritation.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1 cup purified or spring water
- 1 tsp medicinal boric acid powder
- Hand towel
- Eyewash glass or 6 to 8 sterilised cotton balls
Make sure you buy "medicinal quality" boric acid because other formulations will be extremely harmful. If you don't filter your tap water, you should buy purified or spring water.
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1 level teaspoon of medicinal boric acid powder and stir until dissolved. Let the solution stand until it is lukewarm or at room temperature.
Drape a towel around your shoulders, as some of the solution will drip.
Sterilise the eyewash glass by running it through the dishwasher. The glass is recommended over cotton balls, because it lessens the possibility of contamination. Set the eyewash glass on a table or counter and fill it all the way. Bend over to bring your eye securely over the eyewash glass. Hold onto the eyewash glass and blink rapidly and roll your eye, allowing the solution to flood the eye area. Discard the solution, rinse the eyewash glass with hot water, and repeat for the other eye.
Stand over the sink for an alternative eyewash glass method. Fill the eyewash glass about two-thirds full, place the glass securely over the eye and lean your head back, keeping the glass securely over the orbital bones and allowing the solution to flood the eye while blinking rapidly and rolling your eye. Discard the fluid, rinse the glass thoroughly and repeat the process for the other eye.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the solution into a clean bowl, if you're using sterilised cotton balls. Dip a cotton ball into the solution and pat one eye with it, allowing the fluid to run into the eye. If you blink gently, you will move the solution around, but make certain the cotton ball is out of the way so you don't get any fibres in your eye. Discard the cotton ball and repeat for the other eye--never dip a used cotton ball back into the solution.
Tips and warnings
- Remaining solution can be stored at room temperature in a clean airtight container for no longer than two to three weeks. Before use, shake the container to make sure the solution is mixed.
- Be sure to sterilise your eyeglasses between uses.
- Do not use a boric acid eyewash if you have open sores or wounds near your eyes, and never take internally.
- Remove contact lenses before using a boric acid solution. Drugs.com recommends that you wait at least 15 minutes after using the boric acid solution before putting your contact lenses back in.
- For conjunctivitis or other eye infections, seek medical treatment. Boric acid solution is not intended as a primary treatment for such infections.
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