Eye injuries and how to avoid them.

Eye injuries are not something that gets talked about regularly, which may lead you to believe that they are an uncommon occurrence.  This is not the case, actually accidental eye injuries happen quite regularly.  Both at home and at work with 90% of eye injuries thought to be preventable.  So you may ask, how do we go about protecting our vision?

Eye injuries certainly aren’t limited to adults, I have also seen children with eye injuries. 

On the job we need to make sure we are wearing the best eye protection for the job at hand.  For example it is a good idea to wear positively sealed safety glasses, or goggles if you are working in a dusty or dirty environment.  I find that even mowing that my safety sunglasses aren’t enough and that having a gasket or seal would help prevent the dust and debris from getting in my eyes.

Another example is working with a saw or drill.  Depending on how dusty the object being drilled or sawn, you would either require medium impact safety glasses, or yet again something with a gasket or seal.

Work related eye injuries most commonly being welding flash, metal foreign bodies or chemical burns.  These can range from being quite minor to very serious and vision threatening.  Which means that your vision can be affected for life.

A number of eye injuries happen at home and quite a number are due to chemicals.  If you are cleaning with ammonia or bleach, you might want to think about wearing some eye protection.  As I have had a few patients over the years that have significantly injured their corneas, with a squirt of cleaning solution, to their unprotected eyes.

Another way that these types of burns can be avoided is making sure that we do not place chemicals on a shelf higher than our chest.  As accidents happen when the bottle isn’t closed correctly and tips over on a person’s face.  This can easily be avoided by consciously placing the cleaners in a lower position.  But it should be noted that by having them lower that small children will also be able to reach them.  This can be avoided by having the cupboard locked.

Many of the common eye injuries are simple to avoid by wearing sunglasses.  For example, our garden’s are notorious for having flying debris injuries and also plant stick injuries.  If you are wearing sunglasses, you are not only preventing damage from UV exposure, but also from the possibility of an impact injury.

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