Can Pepper Spray Blind You?

Pepper spray is an aerosolized substance that releases the chemical irritant capsaicin, creating a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and lungs. The spray will also create temporary blindness from eye irritation and temporary incapacitation due to coughing and choking. This spray can be effective for several minutes before it runs out of propellant. 

It is not harmful otherwise to either humans or animals if used properly. This is a chemical weapon that has the effect of temporarily disabling an assailant. Persons who are affected by this spray usually suffer from inflammation or temporary blindness, as well as severe coughing and difficulty breathing.

The use of this weapon has led to many cases where people have sprayed officers with the substance for no reason, leading to an officer's death. This spray is available in two variants: OC spray and PAVA spray. It is important to be aware that some countries have outlawed sprays.

How is Pepper Spray Made?

The product was originally created by Robert Huber in 1946 as a solution for people living around large animals like elephants or lions during hunts. Today this spray is legal in most countries. When looking for a spray, it is important to choose one that will be effective in the current situation that you are facing. 

There are three categories of the weapon, one being light spray, the other being heavy pepper spray, and finally, there is foam spray type. Each of these categories makes up for different situations that may arise during an attack. 

  • Light sprays are considered to range sprays because they can shoot up to 20 feet in range. They can create temporary blindness but only last for five minutes or less. 
  • Heavy sprays cover a larger area and are meant for closer-distance encounters. The heavy pepper spray can cover a distance of up to 30 feet; it will not only create temporary blindness but will also have a strong burning sensation that will cause severe coughing and choking. 
  • The foam pepper spray is used for blocking off areas and can even be used against animals.

This spray comes in a variety of sizes such as a 2-gram self defense keychain that attaches to your keychain or your purse with belt loops. To fire the spray, you simply remove the safety clip, press the top button and aim at the target and spray. A typical 2-gram key chain spray can shoot up to 10 feet away from the person spraying it, which is why this is considered a light spray. 

It is meant to be used as a deterrent and will not cause any permanent damage. The heavy spray comes in different sizes, one being the 10-gram key chain which can shoot up to 18 feet away and can cause a burning sensation for over 30 minutes. Other sizes include the 15-gram handheld which shoots up to 30 feet and has a burn time of over 30 minutes. 

The 35-gram hand-held comes with a belt clip which allows you to carry the pepper spray at your waistline, it sprays up to 30 feet away and has a burn time of over 30 minutes as well. These sizes are meant for self-defense and deterring an attacker but may lead to permanent damage if misused. You may also want to know “does pepper spray expire?” Well, it does! 

Effects of Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is the go-to defense against an intruder, but it also has some major effects on humans. There are many different things that this spray can do to people throughout the course of a struggle. This article examines 10 of the most well-known ones, and what pepper spraying can do to your body. 

1. It Can Blind You Temporarily 

Blinding happens when the eyes get watery and unable to see properly. This leads the person to feel like they are trying to walk forward, but can't because everything is blurry.

2. It Can Cause a Burning Effect 

As you can imagine, pepper spray causes a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. The burning sensation can last for a few minutes after being sprayed as well.

3. Breathing Issues 

These sprays also have a way of depleting your body's breathing resources from inhaling it all day. As you would imagine, this leads to some serious respiratory issues over time as you get older, but more so during your activities of fighting back against the intruder.

4. It Can Cause You to be Disoriented 

Pepper spray has been known to cause disorientation in many people. This means that it causes you to not know up from down or left from right, which can lead to you being completely immobilized for a little bit of time.

5. Paralysis 

This spray is also known to cause temporary paralysis in the person who's inhaling it. This means that they can't move because of the pepper spraying effects and need someone else to carry them around as they're trying to get away from the intruder.

6. It Can Damage Your Skin 

This spray is known to cause minor burns on the skin for many people. This can cause any number of skin irritations and other symptoms as you continue to struggle through your fight back.

7. It Can Cause Muscle Cramps 

In the case when you are fighting back, pepper spraying can cause muscle cramps. This leads to a painful struggle or falling over until something better comes along so that you can continue your fight back.

8. It Can Cause Over-Exertion 

As pepper is a strong chemical, it causes over-exertion which can lead to dehydration and really serious problems if not treated quickly enough.

9. It Can Cause Dizziness 

If you're struggling with the use of pepper spray, you can get dizzy for a short period of time. This is caused by the chemical used in the spray which causes nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

10. It Can Cause Bladder and Urinary Tract Infections 

The urinary tract infections that pepper spraying causes can cause serious problems if not treated quickly enough. This includes high fever, kidney pain, needing to urinate a lot as well as putting on more strain on your bladder.

Pepper Spray - The Ideal Defensive Weapon

No matter your size, age, and fitness level, the best way to protect yourself is with pepper spray. It's easy to use and doesn't require a lot of training to be effective. It can easily incapacitate an attacker for several minutes or even hours so you must learn how it works before venturing out into the world as a lone woman with this spray at your side.

This spray is one the most effective self defense weapons to stop an attacker. If you spray someone in the face, the person will be temporarily stunned and unable to breathe. The heat and pain of the pepper spray will have them reaching for their face and eyes, giving you time to get away and call 9-1-1. The following tips can help you decide if using this spray is a good idea for your situation:

  • Be sure that the spray gives you a better chance of being safe than remaining in harm’s way. You should only use it if there is a high probability that it actually will work to stop an attack.
  • If you are caught in an attack, you can use the spray to cause the attacker pain, but you should only use it if it doesn't cause you harm. You shouldn't aim for the chest. Always aim for the eyes or face.
  • You should keep your distance from potential attackers to avoid them attacking you first. If a stranger begins stalking or following you, immediately try to get away as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that they may be armed and dangerous so don't approach them unless they ask you a question or tell you that they want directions.
  • You should also keep your spray ready at all times because there is no telling when an attacker might attack.
  • It's possible that an attacker could use this spray on you against your will but instead of running away, you should fight the urge to rub your eyes. Keep your hands away from your face and instead use them to hit or punch the attacker in the face so he doesn't know for sure where you are.
  • You should keep in mind that pepper spray can be used against you as well if a criminal got hold of it during an attack.