September is Home and Sports Eye Safety Month. Thousands of injuries to the eye occur every year while people are participating in sports or doing household tasks. The majority of these injuries are easily prevented by wearing the proper eye protection.
Protective eyewear can help prevent injuries that may lead to blindness and permanent eye damage. You may already know that you are in danger of an eye injury while playing sports, but did you know everyday tasks like mowing the lawn, cleaning with hazardous materials or using a hammer can also lead to eye injuries?
A 2008 survey of physicians conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma found that of the patients treated for home eye injuries, more than 40 percent of were hurt during home repairs, yard work, cooking, and cleaning.
Here are some quick tips to avoid home and sports eye injuries:
- Wear safety goggles with polycarbonate lenses while sports like playing basketball and racquetball. Protective shields should be used for baseball, hockey and other sports.
- Use protective shields while cooking, especially when using oil that could splatter.
- Inspect your yard for potential flying debris before mowing or weed-eating.
- Use tools that are in good condition and wear safety glasses.
- Always pay attention to labels on cleaning products before using them.
If you sustain an injury to the eye, it should never be taken lightly. What steps to take depends on the type and severity of the injury.
For chemical burns, flush the eye out with water for at least 15 minutes, do not patch the eye and seek medical care. In the event that debris gets in the eye, do not rub it and let your tears naturally wash away the debris. Patch the eye and seek medical attention if the debris does not wash out. When someone receives a blow to the eye or eyes, signs that immediate medical attention is needed are: pain, double vision, reduced vision, discoloration.