How much do you fear the possibility of going blind? If you answered “a lot”, you're not alone. Losing our eyesight is one of the general public's greatest fears. Some polls have found that respondents consider losing their vision as bad as - or worse than - losing their hearing, memory, speech, or even a limb.

Despite this fear, relatively few of us take the next step in vision care: prevention. Consider the following statistics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

  • Thousands of eye accidents happen each day (and millions strike every year). 90% of them are 100% preventable.
  • Only 35% of respondents say they wear the proper safety eyewear to prevent these injuries when performing home repairs or maintenance.
  • Even fewer respondents report wearing protective eyewear while playing sports.​

These numbers just don't add up. That's why this Eye Injury Prevention Month, we want to help give them a boost and address some of the fears you have about losing your sight.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Eye Injuries?

According to theAmerican Optometric Association, every day in America, 2,000 workers sustain workplace eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, accidents can happen anywhere - not just at work. The most common causes of eye injuries include:

  • Flying objects (such as dust, metal slivers, and wood chips)
  • Tools
  • Chemicals
  • Radiation
  • Bloodborne pathogens

Why Do Eye Injuries Happen?

Many factors can contribute to eye injuries. These include:

  1. Inadequate protective gear: Many people do not wear the appropriate eye protection, especially when performing activities like home repairs or playing sports.
  2. Lack of awareness: People may underestimate the risks associated with certain activities and fail to take necessary precautions.
  3. Carelessness: Accidents can happen when we are not paying attention or taking shortcuts.
  4. Exposure to hazardous substances: Working with chemicals or radiation without proper training or protective gear can lead to serious eye injuries.

Home Is Where The Danger Is

These days, many eye injuries occur in the home. While workplace regulations and rules add a layer of safety on the job, we are ultimately responsible for what happens in our living spaces. As a result, accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.

Fortunately, it's easy to address these risk factors so that your home is safer and more vision-friendly:

  • Keeping stairs well-lit and maintaining stair handrails will reduce your risk of falling, which can lead to an eye injury.
  • Before mowing your lawn, you should always inspect the area and remove debris—lawnmowers can throw debris into your face or into the faces of any nearby friends or family members.
  • Never use a damaged tool for housework; it is much more likely to cause an accident.
  • Always follow directions on paints, fertilizers, home cleaning products and chemicals, and similar items. This will ensure they're used and stored safely.  
  • Wear safety glasses or dust goggles when working to protect against flying particles. Additionally, wear chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, hazardous solvents, and detergents. Remember: regular eyeglasses rarely provide enough protection for this kind of work!

Ready, Set, Play Ball (Safely)

Did you know that more than 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year? Not to worry—these injuries are also very preventable!

All sports players—casual or otherwise—should wear the appropriate safety goggles for their sport of choice. Helmets and face shields may also be necessary, depending on the guidelines for their specific sport of interest.  

What Can You Do to Prevent Eye Injuries?

There are several simple steps you can take to protect yourself from eye injuries, including:

  • Wear appropriate eyewear: Always wear proper eye protection when performing activities that could potentially cause eye injuries. This includes work-related tasks, home repairs, and playing sports.
  • Educate yourself: Be aware of the potential risks associated with different activities and take necessary precautions to protect your eyes.
  • Follow safety protocols: If you are working in a hazardous environment, you must follow all safety guidelines and use proper protective gear.
  • Seek medical attention immediately: In case of an eye injury, contact your ophthalmologist or emergency room.

How To Treat Eye Injuries?

Treating eye injuries can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. For minor eye injuries such as cuts or scrapes on the eyelid, gently clean the area with warm water and seek medical attention. For a more serious eye injury, avoid touching or attempting to remove any foreign objects from the eye. This could potentially cause further damage. Instead, cover the eye with a protective shield and seek immediate medical help.

If you have chemical burns or exposure to hazardous substances, flush your eye with water for at least 15 minutes and seek emergency medical help. Delaying treatment for a serious eye injury could lead to permanent vision loss or further damage.

Protect Your Eyes with Everett & Hurite

Eye injuries are far too common and can have serious consequences, but they are also highly preventable. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from potential risks, and always seek medical attention in case of an injury. By following these tips, we can help reduce the number of eye injuries and keep our vision safe and healthy for years to come.

At Everett & Hurite, we are dedicated to promoting eye health and safety. Contact us today for more information on how you can protect your eyes and maintain excellent vision for life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can wearing safety goggles protect my eyes from sharp objects?

Yes, wearing appropriate eye protection, such as safety goggles, can greatly reduce the risk of eye injuries caused by sharp objects. Always wear the necessary protective gear when performing tasks that could potentially expose your eyes to sharp objects.

What are some common eye safety dangers?

Some common eye safety dangers include exposure to chemicals and radiation, flying objects such as dust and metal slivers, and accidents involving tools or home cleaning products. It is important to be aware of these risks and take necessary precautions to protect your eyes.

Can children be affected by eye injuries?

Yes, children are also at risk for eye injuries and should be educated on the importance of wearing protective eyewear during activities that could potentially cause harm to their eyes. Parents should also ensure that their home is safe and free from hazardous materials or objects that could pose a threat to their child's vision.