How to Treat Exposure to Air Freshener in Eyes: Causes and Symptoms

Air Freshener in Eyes

Air fresheners are commonly used to eliminate odors in homes and other spaces. These products contain a mixture of chemicals that are released into the air to mask unpleasant odors.

However, if these chemicals come in contact with the eyes, they can cause severe irritation and discomfort.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of air freshener in eyes.


Air fresheners are designed to be sprayed or released into the air, and the particles can be carried by the wind or air currents to different areas of the room. This means that it is possible for the particles to come into contact with your eyes, either directly or indirectly.

Direct exposure to air freshener in the eyes can occur when the product is sprayed or released too close to the face, or if the user accidentally sprays it into their eyes. This can cause immediate irritation, burning, and discomfort.

Indirect exposure can occur when the particles of air freshener are inhaled, and then come into contact with the eyes through the tear ducts. This can cause irritation, redness, and watering of the eyes.

Additionally, if air fresheners are used in poorly ventilated areas or in confined spaces, the concentration of the chemicals in the air can be higher, increasing the risk of exposure and potential harm to the eyes.


Exposure to air freshener in eyes can cause the following symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light


If you accidentally get air freshener in your eyes, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage. Follow these steps to treat air freshener in eyes:

Step 1: Rinse Your Eyes Immediately with Water

The first and most important step to take if air freshener gets in your eyes is to rinse your eyes immediately with clean, running water. This is crucial as it can help to remove any harmful chemicals or substances that may have entered your eyes, minimizing the risk of further damage or irritation.

When rinsing your eyes, use lukewarm water, as water that is too hot or too cold can cause further discomfort. Additionally, it is important to continuously rinse your eyes for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure that any particles or chemicals in your eyes are thoroughly flushed out.

Also, hold your head under a gentle stream of water, with your eyes open, to ensure that the water effectively reaches all areas of your eyes. You can also use a clean cup or bowl to pour water into your eyes, being careful not to touch your eyes with the cup or bowl.

Additionally, blink rapidly and move your eyes around to help flush out any particles or chemicals that may be present. You may also gently massage your eyelids to help remove any substances that may be trapped in the eyelashes or surrounding skin.

If you wear contact lenses, it is important to remove them before rinsing your eyes with water. Contact lenses can trap particles or chemicals against the surface of your eyes, which can cause further irritation or damage.

Here is a video guide in how to wash your eyes effectively, remove the chemicals and reduce the irritation.

After rinsing your eyes, you may gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can cause further irritation or damage.

Step 2: Seek Medical Attention

After rinsing your eyes with water, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you are experiencing severe discomfort or vision changes.

While rinsing your eyes with water can help to remove most chemicals or substances from your eyes, it may not be effective in removing all harmful particles, especially those that are small or have already penetrated the surface of your eyes. 

Additionally, some chemicals or substances can cause delayed effects, which means that symptoms may not manifest until several hours or even days after exposure.

When seeking medical attention, it is important to provide your healthcare provider with as much information as possible about the air freshener and the circumstances surrounding the exposure. This can include the brand and type of air freshener, the duration of exposure, and any symptoms or discomfort you are experiencing.

Your healthcare provider may perform a series of tests to determine the extent of the damage or irritation to your eyes, and may prescribe medication or other treatments to alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage.

In some cases, they may refer you to an ophthalmologist, a specialist in eye care, for further evaluation and treatment.

Step 3: Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

While it may be tempting to rub your eyes to relieve discomfort, avoid doing so as it can cause further irritation and potential damage.

Step 4: Wear Eye Protection When Using Air Fresheners

To prevent air freshener from getting in your eyes in the future, wear eye protection when using air fresheners. Goggles or safety glasses are a great option to protect your eyes.

How to prevent air freshener from getting into your eyes

While exposure to air freshener in your eyes can be a painful and uncomfortable experience, it is also preventable. By taking certain preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of exposure and protect your eyesight.

Firstly, always read the label and follow the instructions when using air fresheners. This includes using them in well-ventilated areas and avoiding contact with your eyes and skin.

Additionally, be sure to keep air fresheners out of reach of children and pets, as they may accidentally come into contact with the substances.

If you are sensitive to certain chemicals or substances, consider using natural alternatives, such as essential oils or plant-based air fresheners. These can provide a pleasant scent without the potential risks associated with chemical-based air fresheners.

Furthermore, wearing protective eyewear, such as goggles, can help to prevent exposure to air fresheners and other harmful substances. This is especially important if you are working in an environment where exposure is likely, such as cleaning or janitorial services.

In addition to taking preventive measures when using air fresheners, it is also important to practice good eye hygiene. This includes washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes with dirty hands, as this can introduce harmful bacteria or particles into your eyes.

To prevent air freshener in eyes, here is a summary of the tips:

  • Avoid spraying air fresheners directly in your face or near your eyes.
  • Always read the label of air freshener products and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Store air fresheners in a safe place away from children and pets.
  • Use natural air fresheners such as essential oils or herbs to freshen your home.

Recommended Air Fresheners To Avoid Eye Irritation

When it comes to selecting an air freshener that is less likely to cause eye irritation, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some recommendations for air fresheners that are less likely to cause eye irritation:

Natural or organic air fresheners

Natural or organic air fresheners are often made from plant-based ingredients and essential oils, which are less likely to cause eye irritation. They are also typically free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, making them a better choice for those with sensitive eyes.

  • Essential oil diffusers: Essential oils are extracted from plants and can be used to create a pleasant scent in your home. Essential oil diffusers are a popular choice for natural air freshening, as they release a subtle and long-lasting fragrance into the air.
  • Beeswax candles: Beeswax candles are a natural way to add a subtle scent to your home. They are made from natural beeswax and do not release any harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances into the air.
  • Soy candles: Soy candles are another natural option for adding fragrance to your home. They are made from soy wax, which is a renewable resource, and are often scented with natural essential oils.
  • Natural room sprays: Natural room sprays are typically made from a blend of essential oils and water. They are a quick and easy way to add a natural scent to your home without using any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
  • Himalayan salt lamps: Himalayan salt lamps are believed to have air purifying properties and can also add a subtle scent to your home. They are made from natural salt crystals and are often used to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

Fragrance-free air fresheners

If you are particularly sensitive to fragrances, you may want to consider using a fragrance-free air freshener. These products are typically made with minimal ingredients and do not contain any added fragrances or perfumes.

If you’re looking for an air freshener that doesn’t contain any added fragrances, there are several options available to you. Here are a few examples of fragrance-free air fresheners:

  • Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is a natural air purifier that can help to absorb odors and other pollutants from the air. It is often used in air purifiers and other air-cleaning products.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda is another natural odor absorber that can help to neutralize unpleasant smells in your home. Simply place an open box of baking soda in a room to help keep it smelling fresh.
  • Natural deodorizers: There are several natural deodorizers that can help to eliminate odors in your home without adding any additional fragrances. For example, you can place bowls of vinegar or coffee grounds around your home to absorb odors.
  • Air purifiers: Air purifiers are designed to filter pollutants and allergens out of the air, which can help to reduce odors and other irritants. Look for air purifiers that use HEPA filters for the best results.

Non-aerosol air fresheners

Aerosol air fresheners can release a high concentration of chemicals into the air, which can increase the risk of eye irritation. Non-aerosol air fresheners, such as plug-in diffusers or reed diffusers, are a better choice as they release a lower concentration of fragrance and chemicals.

Hypoallergenic air fresheners

Hypoallergenic air fresheners are specifically formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions and eye irritation. These products are often free from harsh chemicals and fragrances and are a good choice for those with sensitive eyes.

Air Freshener in Eyes FAQs:

Can air freshener in eyes cause permanent damage?

In most cases, exposure to air freshener in eyes does not cause permanent damage. However, if you experience severe symptoms or if the exposure is prolonged, it can cause permanent damage.

What should I do if I accidentally spray air freshener in my eyes?

Immediately rinse your eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention if you experience severe symptoms such as pain or blurred vision.

How long does it take for the symptoms of air freshener in eyes to go away?

A. The symptoms of air freshener in eyes usually go away within a few hours. However, if you experience severe symptoms, it may take longer for the symptoms to go away.

Air Freshener in Eyes: What next?

Air freshener in eyes can cause severe irritation and discomfort. It is important to act quickly to minimize the damage if you accidentally get air freshener in your eyes. Follow the treatment steps mentioned above and seek medical attention if necessary.

To prevent air freshener in eyes, follow the prevention tips mentioned above and use natural air fresheners to freshen your home.