With half of all eye injuries happening in the home, we could all use a gentle reminder about the importance of eye safety. The American Academy of Ophthalmologists sponsors Eye Injury Prevention Month every October to reinforce the importance of preventing accidents and injury. This is appropriate because World Health Organization’s World Sight Day is observed on the second Thursday of October each year to bring attention to blindness and vision impairment.
Experts claim that more than 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear and taking some simple precautions. Goggles or safety glasses should be worn while doing yard work, using power tools and playing sports. The most effective eyewear should be snug with a wrap-style frame to keep airborne particles from getting behind the lenses.
Careless accidents can happen when we are not regularly assessing our surroundings. Our homes are full of everyday objects that can cause eye injury: kitchen knives, scissors, letter openers, pencils, rubber bands, and champagne corks. There are countless ways to permanently damage our eyes if we do not store sharp objects correctly or if we use them irresponsibly.
To assess whether a task requires safety glasses or goggles, ask yourself if it will involve:
- Hazardous chemicals or other substances that could damage your eyes upon contact
- Flying debris or other small particles. Note that both active participants and bystanders can be at risk from such activities.
- Projectiles or objects that could fly into the eyes unexpectedly
Your vision is irreplaceable, so treat it with care. Eye injury risk increases with factors such as being rushed, feeling tired, performing an unfamiliar task or being distracted. Sometimes, all we need is a regular “habit checkup” to see how well we are caring for our eyesight. Make this year your best yet when it comes to your vision. Celebrate Eye Injury Prevention Month by wearing appropriate eye protection and being even more aware of the potential for eye injury (Source: Get Eye Smart).