Eye Injury Prevention Month: Protect* your Eyes with Sports Eyewear

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Whether you are at home mowing your beautiful garden with a lawnmower and cleaning your kitchen with household chemicals or you are at work cutting wood and welding steel, you are at risk of eye injury. In the United States, nearly 2.5 million people suffer from eye injury each year, as a result of which nearly one million people have lost some of their sight.

Description and Types:

Eye injuries can vary from deep puncture wounds requiring surgical treatment to minor surface scratches. Here are a few types of eye injuries you should know about:

  • Corneal Abrasion: It involves injury to the surface of the eye due to minor trauma such as dry eyes, excessive ultraviolet light, chemical contact, bacterial infection or ill-fitting contact lens. Symptoms can be observed in the form of eye redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision and discomfort.
  • Black Eye: Eyes may swell and become puffy due to something being struck in the eye at a high speed for instance a punch or a baseball. Immediate treatment involves using an eye pack, but a doctor is need if there is internal damage.
  • Foreign objects such as small pieces of metal penetrating your eye or caustic foreign substances in your eye require an immediate visit to the doctor. In a foam party in Florida in 2012, at least 56 of the 350 people suffered injuries to the eyes. So, always wear your preventative goggles if you are up for a foam party!

Causes

Eye Injury Causes

Most of us blame the flying particles, fumes, dusts and splashing chemicals at work as the main cause of eye injuries, but it may be wrong to assume that eye injuries can take place solely in the work place such as factories and construction sites. According tofifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot carried out by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, it is doing home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking in our homes: kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms where nearly half of all these eye injuries occur.This calls for even greater prevention!

First imagine yourself using household chemicals in non-ventilated areas without reading their labels or in your lawn using a power trimmer which can shoot little rocks as dangerous projectiles and then standing in the middle of a vacant road jump-starting your automobile without wearing any protective goggles. And now picture the risk here.
Another cause of eye injury is the lack of awareness and importance about preventive eye wear. The Eye injury snapshot claims* that at the time of injury more than 78 percent of people did not haveany protective eyewear.

Facts about Eye Injuries

  • Men are more prone to eye injuries than women.
  • Every year, more than 40 percent of eye injuries are associatedwith sports and recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals and dust. Prevention is specifically essential for those in their teens, twenties and thirties, as their eyes are the most vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States
  • Wearing protective eyewear during home-based activities can help prevent 90% of all eye injuries.

Eye Injury Symptoms and Signs

Eye Injury Symptoms and Signs
  • Pain or intense burning*.
  • Eye will begin to tear profusely.
  • Redness and swelling of the eye.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Red spot of blood on the sclera in case of internal bleeding.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • A black eye.

Prevention Is Better* Than Cure*

In order to ensure healthy vision, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends frequent, comprehensive eye exams every one or two years to prevent any serious problem. However the following safety precautions must also be taken:

  • Always wear safety goggles in the garage or workshop before working with batteries and chemicals or anywhere where there is a chance of flying debris, intense light and heat.
  • Make use of appropriate protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities such as helmet for a cricket or baseball match.
  • Read the instructions and labels carefully and work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Make sure to point spray nozzles and pointy edges away from you.
  • Keep protective goggles in your house and car for emergencies and everyday repairs.
  • Wear sunglasses to prevent eyes to be damaged by sun exposure.
  • Make sure your eye protection complies with the standards set by American National Standards Institute and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • If you get a serious cut, chemical burn or any eye injury which involves a foreign object, do not try to treat* yourself and see a doctor right away.

Purpose of Eye Injury Prevention Day

The month of July is known as the Eye Injury Prevention Month by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to raise awareness of eye injuries and their prevention. The Academy also provides* the public eye care information and stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy vision.

What You Can Do In Eye Injury Prevention Month

The following are the things you can do during this month:

  • Provide free information about the symptoms and precautions associated with eye injuries.
  • Spread the word using your social media profiles.
  • Donate money to organizations who research eye injuries.
  • Encourage* parents and children to make eye safety part of their sports game.

Message of Eye Injury Prevention Month

This month dedicated to eye injury prevention, gives you the perfect opportunity to learn more about the risks your eyes face not only at your workplace, but also in your own homes. It also enables you to take long term measures to ensure the safety of yourself and your families by recognising the symptoms in time and taking necessary precautions. So, celebrate this July spreading awareness about eye injury prevention!

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Author

Expert Author : Syeda Kiran Zahra Hussain (Consumer Health Digest)

Syeda Kiran Zahra Hussain is a Pakistan origin health writer and nutritionist. After her basic education in Pakistan she moved to Oman for further studies and became "the First-Health Coach from the Sultanate". She is graduate of Psychology, Philosophy and English Literature, and was also nominated for "Full-Bright Scholarship Program," from St. Joseph College for women. Syeda is our lead contributing News Editor and she believes "Food is the best form of Preventive-Medicine".