Eye Injury Prevention: Keeping Safe In Various Environments

Your eyes are at risk of getting injured whether you are at work, playing sports, or even handling your daily tasks in the comfort of your own home. Knowing that emergencies can happen at any place and when you least expect it, we all could use a gentle reminder about the importance of eye safety.

The American Academy of Ophthalmologists invites everyone to celebrate the Eye Injury Prevention Month this month to raise awareness on accident and injury prevention. The World Health Organization also sponsors the World Sight Day on the second Thursday of October each year to bring attention to vision impairment and blindness. On that note, let’s discuss the ways you can protect your eyes in different situations and environments.

Precautions In The Workplace

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 eye accidents happen in the workplace each year. If that’s not enough to be a concern for any employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also revealed that roughly $300 million is lost annually to compensate for medical treatment, workers pay, and the decline in productivity. Here are simple ways to prevent eye emergencies in the workplace:

  • Go For A Full Assessment

The first step in ensuring eye safety at work is learning the hazards of the environment. Possible exposure to danger and threats are different per industry, so there’s no single solution that will perfectly fit every workplace.

You may have to watch out for fires and thermal hazards, chemicals, blood-borne pathogens, shifting debris, or metal particles. Look for the OSHA eye and face protection standards for your industry and employ the appropriate safety equipment.

  • Use Protective Eyewear

Having basic goggles may offer some degree of protection, but nothing beats wearing the right eyewear in specific jobs. For people working in general conditions, their safety glasses must have side shields or wrap around the face to protect the eyes from all angles.

Goggles come in a variety of styles that are specialized for certain types of hazards. Helmets, full-face respirators, or face shields over goggles may be required for people working with chemical splashes or metal works.

  • Apply First Aid

After assessing your workplace and procuring the correct eyewear, it’s time to put some safety procedures in place. This includes first aid practices that will let everyone know what to do in case of an eye injury.

For example, if specks or any foreign object gets stuck in the eye, do not rub it. Instead, flush it out with plenty of water. For punctures or cuts, do not attempt to wash out the eye but seek medical attention immediately. Chemical burns may need to be cleaned for at least 15 minutes. If discoloration or blood appears in the eye, get a doctor to treat it as soon as possible.

Protective Measures In Sports

No one sets out for a sport expecting an eye injury, but it can happen to the best of us. Each year, over 40,000 sports-related ocular trauma occur in the United States and 90 percent of these cases are preventable. These tips should help protect your vision while you enjoy your favorite sports and recreational activities:

  • Wear A Helmet

Certain full-contact sports like ice hockey, baseball, and lacrosse put its players at a higher risk for eye injury. A strong and lightweight polycarbonate helmet is critical for these activities. It should have an attached wire shield or face mask for added protection.

  • Choose Proper Eye Gear

Having the right eyewear is crucial for sports like soccer, field hockey, and basketball. Yours should have polycarbonate lenses that meet the standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials. Game officials do not require players to wear one, but it’s up to you to take that extra step to shield your eyes from possible injury.

  • Consider The Risks

Some sports like martial arts and boxing pose a higher risk of eye accidents. These sports do not allow eye gear or helmets, so it is important for you to weigh the risks before participating. If you are an athlete suffering from reduced vision, a LASIK surgery will correct your eyesight and rid you of the burden of glasses or contacts.

Safety At Home

From tripping over rugs to catching free-flying particles when performing basic repairs, some tasks at home leave the unprotected eyes vulnerable to damage. In fact, a staggering 94,000 adults and children received treatment in 2013 for eye injuries occurring at home. If you have children or aging loved ones, now is a good time to re-evaluate and place some preventative measures. Follow these suggestions to improve your eye safety at home:

  • Periodically Check For Tripping Hazards

Slippery surfaces and scattered chords are the basic ingredients of a disaster. Be sure to check walkways, including the ones outside, for tripping hazards. Place adequate lighting and handlebars where necessary, especially if you are caring for the elderly.

  • Be Careful When Working With Harsh Chemicals

Cleaning agents and other harsh chemicals can damage or even cause blindness when it comes in direct contact with your eyes. Always be extra mindful when handling these solutions and store them in a safe place to prevent your children from accessing them.

  • Check Your Tools And Equipment

Every now and then you’ll have to mow the yard or do some home remodeling projects. Whatever task you’re undertaking, make sure that your tools and equipment are in good condition. You should also clear out your workstation of any debris or branches that might come flying around and hit your eyes.

Every year, Prevent Blindness America and the AAO highlight that the majority of eye injuries are preventable. For a productive and injury-free day, remember to plan ahead and invest in the right eyewear.

Arizona Retinal Specialists offers vision care and laser eye treatments that can significantly improve your way of life. With a clearer eyesight, you’ll be more confident to take on your daily activities. Call us today at 623 (474-3937/EYES) to schedule for a free consultation.