October is known as Eye Injury Prevention Month.
Your eyes are one of the most important components of your body. Imagine what it would be like if your eyes experienced an injury that would make you lose most or all of your eyesight. It is important that you never avoid using safety measures when you are participating in activities where your eyes could become damaged.
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.
According to estimates from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), over 2,000 people experience eye injuries while they are working. These injuries do not only force workers to be blind, but it also costs their employers an ample amount of money from compensation claims throughout the year. Essentially, eye injuries are mutually detrimental for every party – mostly for you.
The first step to making sure that your eyes do not succumb to injury is to exercise methods of prevention, meaning that you will want to protect your eyes whenever possible. According to research, over 90% of the eye injuries that people experience could have been prevented if they were wearing the appropriate safety materials. Depending on your job and the recreational activities that you participate in every day, you will want to find a pair of goggles, safety glasses, or face shields that you can use. The majority of eye injuries are a result of fireworks, debris, household chemicals, and accidents from sporting events, according to the Detroit Medical Center.
Below are some important tips to take into consideration when you are both inside, outside, at home, and at work, to ensure that you do not put yourself and your eyes in harm’s way.
When at Home
Every homeowner cleans their house throughout the year and with the majority of homeowners, using chemicals is the best way to make sure that everything is sufficiently clean. You will want to make sure that you read the labels of your cleaner to determine if they are hazardous to any part of your body. It is important to make sure that you are cleaning in an area with an ample amount of ventilation and that you point the spray nozzles away from your face. Although household cleaners are fantastic for getting rid of germs and bacteria, they are also quite dangerous for your eyes.
When in the Workshop
Whether you have a workshop in your home or if your job requires you to work with materials that create debris, it is your responsibility to make sure that your eyes are sufficiently protected. There are a variety of different issues that you could encounter from hammering, working with power tools, or even using chemicals. Not to mention that debris is one of the most common issues that people face when they are working in the workshop.
Gardening is a great way to put your mind at ease, but it is also important to remember to protect your eyes – especially if you are using power tools. When you mow your lawn, trim the edges of your lawn, or use a weed whacker, you could be throwing debris into the air. This debris can enter your eye and either cause a disturbance or injure your eyes. You should also consider protecting the eyes of bystanders when using these tools.
When in the Workplace
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a variety of standards that workers have to follow including having the proper materials for protection for your eyes. It is imperative that you abide by these rules otherwise you could be one of the 2,000 workers who experience eye injuries at work.
Working on the Car
Although you may assume that you have complete control over the elements associated with your car, this may not always be the case as accidents do happen. Whether you are using jumper cables, changing your battery, or changing your oil, it is your responsibility to make sure that you sufficiently protect your eyes. Many car elements can severely damage your eyeballs and force you to lose your sight.
As previously mentioned, sports are one of the largest activities that can result in eye injuries. Every sport that you play can risk damage to your eyes, whether it is football or racquetball. It is equally important to wear eye protection if you are participating in certain leisure activities such as fishing. Wearing the proper amount of eye protection can lower your chances of incurring an eye injury 90% of the time.
Enjoying the Sunshine
Staying outside during the warmer months is a luxury that everyone likes to take advantage of. However, rays of the sun are one of the largest threats that your eyes can be exposed to. It is imperative that you find sunglasses that have between 97% and 100% UV protection to ensure that your eyes are safe.
For more information on preventing eye injuries, please visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology.