We might be inclined to think of home as a place where eye injuries and other accidents are less likely to occur. The truth is, nearly half of all eye injuries occur in the home. In fact, home repairs, yard work, cleaning, and cooking cause more than 40 percent of eye injuries.
Eye injuries can quickly change your quality of life, depending on the severity. The following are common situations at home that can lead to eye injuries and vision loss:
- Using hazardous chemicals such as oven cleaner, bleach and solvents
- Cooking foods with hot oil or grease that can splatter
- Hammering screws or nails into hard surfaces
- Falling due to loose rugs or railings
- Mowing the lawn or using a trimmer on hedges and bushes
- Using power or hand tools
- Tying down equipment with bungee cords
The good news is that 90% of eye injuries can be prevented just by wearing protective eyewear. Therefore, the American Academy of Ophthalmology urges every household to have at least one pair of protective eyewear that is made to meet the safety standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
There are other precautions you can take to improve safety and prevent eye injuries at home as well, including:
- Securing loose rugs with non-slip padding and repairing loose railings
- Installing lights and handrails on stairs to prevent falls
- Checking for debris that might fly into your eyes and removing it before mowing the lawn
- Following all instructions and warning labels when handling hazardous chemicals
- Washing your hands after using cleaning chemicals or cooking with ingredients such as hot peppers
It’s equally essential to protect bystanders, such as children, from eye injuries at home. For instance, if you’re using power tools, be sure to turn them off if another person approaches. If you have a helper on your project, they should also wear protective eyewear.
Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the easiest things you can do to preserve your eye health and prevent vision loss. If you experience an eye injury, contact an eye care professional as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor.
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