By Dr. Joseph Silva, OD
Department of Eye Services
Did you know that October is eye injury prevention month? In America, eye injuries affect about 2.5 million people every year. Many of those injuries could have been prevented if people practiced better eye safety. Here are some tips to help you protect your eyes (and your vision) from potential damage:
- Always wash your hands after using household chemicals.
- Wear a protective mask or eyewear while using a weed trimmer, lawnmower or snow blower to guard your eyes from flying debris.
- Keep guards in place on all power equipment.
- Turn nozzles away from your face when spraying.
- Be extra careful when opening bottles of champagne or other carbonated beverages.
- Always wear safety goggles when:
- using hazardous solvents and detergents
- using a device that shoots pellets, arrows, paintballs or other projectiles
- using high impact or grinding tools
- handling fireworks
Keep in mind that the sun and pool chemicals can also damage eyes. Always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light when outdoors. Swim goggles can help protect your eyes when you are in the water.
If an eye injury does occur, be sure to seek medical care right away. Prompt care can be crucial in protecting your sight and you should not try to treat an eye injury on your own. If you experience any of the following issues with your eyes, be sure to seek immediate care. If the situation persists, be sure to see an optometrist or other eye care professional:
- Excess tears
- Tired, aching, or heavy eyelids
- Eye pain
- Problems with focusing
- Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid
- Frequent headaches
Remember, protecting your eyes is something you have to think about every day in order to enjoy good vision throughout your lifetime.