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What is the real effect of Pepper Spray? Direct facial contact and inhalation of the spray will induce coughing, choking, and nausea, as well as dilating the eye capillaries resulting in temporary blindness. The mucous membranes will swell to prevent all but life support breathing causing the assailant to be temporarily incapacitated. Skin contact will cause a burning sensation which is aggravated by rubbing the area. A one second burst of oc pepper spray can affect an attacker for up to 45 minutes effectiveness without causing permanent damage.