Whether playing sports in the hot summer sun, taking on a home project or working in hazardous conditions, your eyes could be in more danger than you think.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma’s fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot found that 48 percent of all eye injuries occur at home, while more than 40 percent happen during sports and recreational activities. And according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 2,000 U.S. workers require medical treatment for job-related eye injuries each day.
Eye injuries can occur when small particles such as dust or wood chips blow into a person’s eye or when larger objects strike and penetrate the eye. Splashes from cleaning products and industrial chemical burns also can cause damage to the eyes.
While eye doctors and safety experts believe that 90 percent of these injuries can be prevented or the severity of the damage can be lessened by wearing protective eyewear, a national survey by the AAO found that, when doing home maintenance or repairs, only 35 percent of respondents always wear protective eye gear, with even fewer doing so while playing sports.
Whether at work, home or play, here are some things you can do to protect your eyes.
- Wear the correct protective eye gear. No matter what job you take on, be sure to choose the proper eye and/or face protection based on the hazards of your work site.
- Put on a pair of sunglasses when outside because the sun’s UV rays can burn without the right protection.
- Give your eyes a proper rest to protect them from eye strain that often occurs when staring at something for a long time, like a computer screen or other media devices.
- Foster healthy habits when it comes to caring for your glasses and contact lenses such as washing your hands before touching your eyes and cleaning your contacts properly.
- Visit your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam. Exams can determine the current health of your eyes as well as alert you to potential risks of serious eye diseases.
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