While the burn of hot peppers is a welcome feeling on the tongue.
The same burn in your eyes can have you reeling in pain. Add in redness and lots of tears, and you’re in trouble. Sure, this phenomenon has its uses (we’re looking at you pepper spray).
But it’s something you want to avoid at home.
If you keep peppers out of your eyes in the first place, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But, this is easier said than done since the fiery capsaicin can easily spread from your hands to your eyes. Here’s a pro tip: if you’re handling super hot peppers or foods, put on some disposable gloves. When you’re done handling the peppers you can toss your gloves in the trash and touch your eyes without fear.
Despite the best precautions, you might still end up with your eyes on fire. While some people say you should flush your eyes with milk or baby soap, research shows that water is just as effective of a solution. If you get hot sauce or another spicy food in your eye, rinse your eyes with warm water. If you wear contact lenses, remove them.
While your eyes may burn for up to an hour, the pain will fade with time. If it persists after an hour, it’s best to contact a medical professional.