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Eye Injury Prevention Month

Every year, nearly 2.5 million people suffer eye injuries in the United States, and nearly one million of those injured suffer some degree of vision loss. Many of these injuries could be prevented by wearing protective eyewear.
Every year, we have patients coming into our office with scratched corneas and vision loss from everyday indoor and outdoor activities. As ophthalmologists, we do everything we can to save their vision but many of these injuries can be prevented just by following some simple safety practices.
In honor of Eye Injury Prevention Month, here are some of the most common places that eye injuries occur and tips on how to avoid becoming part of the growing number of eye injuries every year:
Garage—It may not seem like a place you’d need to wear protective eyewear, but ophthalmologists see eye injuries every year from people working on cars. Battery acid, sparks and debris from improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep a pair of protective goggles in your trunk for emergencies.
House—When cleaning and using household chemicals, read the instructions and labels carefully. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and point spray nozzles away from your face. Household chemicals can be extremely hazardous and cause blindness quickly. Wear eye protection to prevent eye damage from chemical splashes.
Workshop—Protective eyewear in the workshop is an absolute must. Between flying fragments, wood chips, saw dust, sparks and chemicals, the workshop is one of the most dangerous places for your eyes.
Garden—Anytime you are near a lawnmower, power trimmer, or edger, you must have protective eyewear. If one of those fast moving blades hits a stone, it can become a dangerous projectile and cause severe injury, even blindness.
Sports—Whether on the court or field, sports-related eye injuries send someone to the hospital every 13 minutes in the United States. From basketball to baseball (especially the infield) to every racquet sport, be sure to properly protect your eyes.
What is frustrating to us as physicians and to our patients is that so many of these eye injuries can be prevented just by wearing protective goggles or glasses. Our warning to our patients is to wear protective eyewear before it’s too late. Because once that vision is gone, sometimes it’s gone for good.
If you do suffer an eye injury such as cuts, chemical burns or foreign bodies stuck in the eye, seek medical help immediately. Don’t try to treat these injuries yourself. Contact our office or head to the emergency room immediately. In the case of a chemical burn to the eye, flush the eye with clean water and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

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