Written by: Kim Manthe and Alissa Werts
It’s Eye Injury Prevention Month! At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we strive to offer our patients the highest quality care when it comes to their eyes and vision. However, some eye injuries can be prevented with some extra precautions and safeguards. Below are recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Eye Safety in the House
When using household chemicals, read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness.
Eye Safety in the Workshop
Think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.
Eye Safety in the Garden
Put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger, and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines. Do not forget the risk to bystanders when using these machines.
Eye Safety in the Workplace
Wear appropriate safety eyewear for your job. Many of the 2,000 employees who are injured each day didn’t think they needed eye protection or were wearing eyewear inappropriate for the job.
Eye Safety Around the Car
Battery acid, sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.
Eye Injury Prevention
Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting your eyes from injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention promptly.
Eye Injury Prevention Month FAQs
Why Do We Celebrate Eye Injury Prevention Month?
During July’s Eye Injury Prevention Month, Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and eye doctors around the country encourage everyone to protect their eyes from accidental injury.
- Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States.
- Approximately one million eye injuries occur each year in the United States.
- Ninety percent of these injuries are preventable.
- The leading causes of eye injuries include sports accidents, consumer fireworks, household chemicals and battery acid, as well as workshop and yard debris.
How Can I Protect Myself from Serious Eye Injuries?
- Wear safety goggles when working in the workshop or yard, jump-starting your car or working with cleaning or other chemicals.
- Always wear appropriate protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities. Your Cascade Eye & Skin provider can recommend the right eye protection for your sport.
- Fireworks can cause devastating injuries to users and bystanders. Never use them at home, and attend only professional fireworks displays.
When Should I Seek Medical Help for an Eye Injury?
- If you get an eye injury, seek medical help immediately.
- Injuries such as cuts, chemical burns or foreign bodies stuck in the eye are emergencies. Don’t try to treat these yourself – contact your Cascade Eye & Skin eye provider or emergency room for help immediately.
- Even a seemingly light blow can cause a serious eye injury. If a black eye, pain or visual problem occurs after a blow, contact your Cascade Eye & Skin eye provider or emergency department immediately.
- In case of a chemical burn to the eye, flush the eye with clean water and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
This information has been provided with the kind permission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (www.aao.org).