July is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Posted on June 30, 2015 13:55 pm CDT

Did you know that one million people suffer from eye injuries each year and 90% of these injuries were preventable? That is why it is important to learn about eye injury prevention.

One of the biggest culprits to eye injury is fireworks. With Independence Day coming up this Saturday, it is important to think about fireworks safety and how you can prevent burns and eye injuries. Eye injuries most often are caused by being too close to fireworks when they explode. Some people may be injured by bending over for a closer look of one that has been ignited or from a misguided bottle rocket. Children are often excited and curious around fireworks which can increase their chances of injury. Make sure you and your loved ones use caution while around fireworks this summer. Other leading causes of eye injury are from sports-related accidents, household chemicals, battery acid, workshop and yard debris, and on-the-job accidents.

There are steps you can take in these situations to minimize your risk of eye injury. When participating in sports or recreation, always wear appropriate protective eyeware. When using household chemicals, read the instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated space and point spray nozzles away from you. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use when working with car batteries or jump-starting a car. Wear protective eyewear in your workshop or while doing yard and garden work. This will protect your eye from dirt, fumes, dust and flying yard debris. If the type of job you have could possibly lead to eye injury, wear the appropriate eyewear there, as well. 

If you get an eye injury, seek medical help immediately. Cuts, chemical burns and foreign objects stuck in the eye are all considered emergencies. Get to the ER or your eye doctor immediately. Even a light blow can lead to a serious eye injury. If a black eye, pain or visual problems occur after an injury, contact your eye doctor or head to the ER. In case of a chemical burn to the eye, flush the eye with clean water and seek emergency treatment immediately. For more information regarding eye injuries and prevention, please visit www.aao.org

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