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How to Clean an Eye

Picture of how to clean an eye

To keep the eye clean:

  • Wipe away the drainage from around the eye. Moisten a clean cotton ball or washcloth with warm (not hot) water, and gently wipe from the inner (near the nose) to the outer part of the eye. With each wipe, use a new or clean part of the cotton ball or washcloth. Keep a supply of clean cotton balls moistened with water in a sealed plastic bag for use when you are away from home.
  • If eyelashes become crusted with drainage, clean them with a moist cotton ball using a gentle, downward motion. If the eyelids become stuck together, place a clean, warm, wet cotton ball over that eye for a few minutes to help loosen the crust.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised November 8, 2011

Last Revised: November 8, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

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