Imagine losing your vision due to an accident that could have been prevented. Your quality of life can be changed in an instant. Roughly 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States annually. These accidents can happen at work, in the home, or during sports causing vision damage and even blindness. The good news is that 90% of eye injuries can be prevented just by using protective safety eyewear. The bad news is that most Americans do not take this simple precaution.
Common Eye Injury Facts
According to research conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma:
- Nearly half all eye injuries occurred in the home. In fact, home repairs, yard work, cleaning, and cooking caused more than 40 percent of eye injuries.
- Home Improvement- injuries can often occur when undertaking home improvement projects. Power or handheld tools can cause wood, screws, nails, or other substances to fly into the air and into your eyes.
- Cleaning- Chemicals such as bleach in household cleaning products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.
- Yard Work- Lawnmowers and other lawn care tools can launch dirt, rocks, twigs, into the air, that can fly into the eyes.
- Over 40 percent of eye injuries are related to sports or recreational activities.
- More than 2,000 individuals injure their eyes at work each day. 10-20% of work-related eye injuries cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
- More than 78 percent of individuals did not wear protective eyewear during the time of injury.
- According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of individuals wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance, and even fewer do so while playing sports.
Safety tips for preventing eye injuries
- Wear protective eyewear while doing yard work and when operating lawnmowers, trimmers, and blowers.
- Wear safety glasses when undertaking outdoor projects, if there is a potential of being exposed to flying particles, objects, or dust.
- Ensure children are safe and away from the area while any yard work or outdoor projects are being completed.
- Wear protective eyewear for any sports that include a ball, puck, stick, bat, racket, or flying object as there is a potential of eye injury.
- Leave fireworks to trained professionals.
- Keep small children safe around dogs. Eye injuries frequently occur when children are bitten by dogs.
- When exposed to chemicals and household cleaning products, wear safety goggles. Store all hazardous substances away from children at all times.
- Use caution with chemicals and cleaners. Never mix products, and always read the labels of chemicals and household cleaning supplies, before using them.
- Ensure all sharp kitchen objects and utensils are kept away and out of the reach of small children.
- Supervise children when they are using tools such as scissors, pencils, paper clips, rubber bands, wire coat hangers, fishhooks, forks, or knives.
- Use caution when cooking or using hot pans. Grease shields can help prevent the splattering of hot grease or oil.
- Use caution when opening a Champagne bottle. Keep the bottle pointed away from yourself and others.
- Reduce the risk of falls by securing all rugs and railings.
- Avoid the use of certain projectile toys such as pellet guns, BB guns, darts, bows and arrows, and missile-firing toys.
- Don’t allow children to use laser pointers. Laser pointers can permanently damage the retina and cause vision loss.
Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life. Wearing the proper protective eyewear reduces the risk of eye injury and vision loss. The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges every household to have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. (“ANSI-approved” means the protective eyewear is made to meet safety standards of the American National Standards Institute.)