Q. Could single use of pepper spray cause permanent damage to eyes?

Answered by
Dr. Vaibhev Mittal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 10, 2020

Hi doctor,

Could an accidental use of pepper spray cause any permanent harm to eyes?



Welcome to

  • Yes, it may cause permanent harm. But, the injury depends on the type of damage done to the eye.
  • Otherwise, it can be washed immediately and get the treatment done to prevent any permanent damage.

For further information consult an eye care ophthalmologist online -->

Hi doctor,

I guess a single incident of pepper spray in the eye does not cause permanent damage. But, I want to know in general cases.



Welcome back to

  • In the majority of cases, there will not be any damage because we have so many protective shields in the eye like eyelids, lashes, tears, etc., to guard against such chemicals.
  • Lids close very fast without our permission in case of any danger and tears will flush the spray which enters the eye. So with this protection, the eyes are safe.
  • In rare cases, it may cause damage to the cornea and may cause damage to the vision.
  • Having said that, I recommend to wash eyes with water in such incident and consult a local ophthalmologist immediately.

For further information consult an eye care ophthalmologist online -->

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