Did you know that nearly half of all eye injuries each year happen at home? Even a minor injury from a small particle of dust or debris can be painful and become a life-long issue. Most injuries are avoidable if you know some simple rules.
Here are some examples of the most common activities that can cause an eye injury and how to prevent them for happening.
Using household chemicals: Chemicals like bleach, ammonia, cleaning agents and pesticides can burn delicate tissues in your eye. If you get any of these chemicals in your eye, immediately flush the eye by putting your head under a steady stream of room temperature tap water for at least 15 minutes. Contact your eye doctor to determine what is recommended as a next step.
Hot grease or oil splatter: As with household chemicals, the most important thing to do is irrigate the eye with running room temperature water and contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Furniture Corners: Children are particularly vulnerable to sharp corners and edges on furniture, home fixtures, cabinets and windowsills Furniture corner protectors are inexpensive and can be easily applied to soften the edges.
Toys and Games: Avoid giving children toys with sharp points, protruding edges or projectile parts. Only give children toys that are age-appropriate and always supervise them while playing.
Workshop and Yard Work: Power tools, lawn mowers, trimmers and weed whackers all pose potential hazards to your eyes. Always wear protective eyewear when mowing the grass, trimming hedges. Make sure your yard is free of rocks and other debris that could become projectiles.
Securing bicycles or other items: Use extreme caution with any objects that have the potential to snap back like bungee cords or rubber bands.
Sports Accidents: Each year there are about 40,000 sports-related eye injuries that occur in the United States. Some of the most dangerous sports for the eyes are baseball, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, football, soccer, racquetball, fishing and paintball. Studies have shown that about 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries could be prevented by using protective eyewear.
Fireworks There are about 8,500 fireworks-related injuries in the United States each year, with over 2,000 of these affecting the eyes. The best prevention, when it comes to fireworks, is to simply not use them and take your family to you cities profession firework event instead.
Work-Related Injuries: Over 100,000 workers are disabled due to eye injury with vision loss every year. Workers in industrial-related positions should always wear protective eyewear.
Drilling or hammering into walls: An activity as simple as hanging a picture can cause a nail or screw to become a projectile or cause fragments to fly off and cause an eye injury. Seek immediate medical help if you are hit in the eye with any foreign object.
Overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Light: UV light from the sun, tanning beds, and welding arcs can damage the eyes. Sunlight is particularly risky when it’s reflected off sand, water or pavement, and can actually burn the eye’s surface in these circumstances. To protect the eyes from UV sunlight, wear sunglasses that block UV rays (they should block 99 or 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays) and wear a hat with a wide brim. Further, protective eyewear should always be worn when using a tanning bed or while welding.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an estimated 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable with the use of proper safety eyewear. But only one-third of people wear protective eyewear when doing home projects or repairs.
Here are a few reminders for protecting your eyes:
- Use protective eyewear while doing projects at home, working outside and for sports.
- When you spend time outdoors, wear sunglasses that provide UV protection.
- Have regular eye check-ups and screenings.
- If you have a chronic disease, follow through on any physician recommendations related to eye care.
Remember, you only have one set of eyes, protect the gift of sight. The only way to know what’s really going on with your eyes is to see an eye care professional. Schedule your appointment today!
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