Poison ivy is famously known to cause rashes on the skin. Add blisters, too. A lot of people have already experienced the difficulties of coping with rashes and blisters and no one can sincerely say it has been the best time of his/her life.
Coping with the condition is hard enough. But what about getting poison ivy in eye as well? That should definitely one of the most horrible of experiences in the world! In fact, it has been said as “one of the worst, most torturous feelings imaginable”.
Well, just imagining it already hurts.
Can You Get Poison Ivy in Your Eye?
Generally, one can get poison ivy near eye or poison ivy rash around eyes. Poison ivy rash on eyelid is not unusual for those who have experienced extreme reactions to the plant. However, if poison ivy can get into the respiratory system, then getting it in the eye would not be impossible. Unfortunately.
It could be poison oak in eye or poison sumac in eye. It would be the same banana. The important questions are, (1) How do you prevent something like this from happening? (2) And how do you treat poison ivy in your eye?
DONT GET POISON IVY ON YOUR EYES pic.twitter.com/yy9oOf2sHM
— Laur (@lauren_petrozza) June 13, 2016
Poison Ivy Prevention
Prevention for the eyes is not unlike the way one prevents poison ivy from getting in contact with the body. What one should keep in mind are the basics:
- If one lives where poison ivy, poison oak, and/or poison sumac are/is abundant, always be careful.
- Better yet, stay clear of those areas.
- Familiarize oneself with what those poisonous plants look like in order to better avoid them when outside.
- Wear protective clothing and gear (like boots/shoes), including a cap/hat or scarf that may protect the eyes.
- Don’t let kids and pets be able to reach problem areas or they’ll bring back the toxic oil — urushiol — in the plants and spread it to other members of the family. Build fences if necessary to keep them away from the plants.
- Be ready with first-aid treatment when out hiking/trekking and camping in the great outdoors. There are ointments or creams that either nip rashes in the bud or treat those rashes in only a matter of hours. It is also recommended to bring poison ivy wash or cleansers like Tecnu Original or Zanfel to remove the oil toxin from the skin.
- Bring prescription antihistamines if one has a history of extreme allergic reactions to poison ivy.
- If itchiness starts, refrain from touching parts of the body, especially the eyes, after scratching. Make sure to clean the hands well after scratching. Make sure to clean the back of the nails where urushiol could be “hiding”.
Poison Ivy Treatment
- Whether one is sure or suspects possible exposure to any of the plants, make sure to thoroughly wash affected areas immediately with mild soap and cold water.
- When hiking/trekking/camping and poison ivy “attacks”, take a dip on a nearby body of water, if there is any. The cold will treat or prevent inflammations as rashes thrive in warm conditions.
- Wash clothes exposed to poison ivy immediately so as not to spread the toxin. Don’t skip cleaning outdoor gear that came in contact with poison ivy.
- Take a cold bath. One can opt for an oatmeal bath or a baking soda bath.
- Apply over-the-counter anti-rashes creams/lotions/ointments. Calamine is a popular and effective ingredient.
- Should the eyes be already infected:
- Apply non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drops.
- Do cold compresses on the eyelids.
- Keep the head above the heart to reduce swelling.
- If treatment is applied on the eyelid, be careful not to get it in the eyes.
Those are really basic pieces of advice. However, the best advice to give is to seek medical attention once poison ivy on face and eyes manifest through swelling. Once it gets in the eyes, apply first aid but do not wait any longer. The eyes are sensitive, vital organs that no one wants to damage. Go to the doctor immediately!