The summer is here and people of all ages are outside having fun and enjoying the hot weather. We remember to protect our skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat or long sleeves when working outside, or sitting under an umbrella lounging at the pool or beach. But for many people, the one thing they forget to protect is their eyes. It’s important to practice eye injury prevention all year long.
Wearing sunglasses with UV protection is one easy way to protect your eyes all year long. But, many people don’t wear eye protection when doing yard work, playing sports, or enjoying Independence Day fireworks. All of these activities can lead to eye injury, many which can be prevented with safety goggles or glasses.
Know the Facts About Eye Injuries
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma conduct an annual Eye Injury Snapshot to study eye injuries. The most recent snapshot concluded:
- More than 80% of eye injuries occur doing home repairs, yard work, cleaning and/or cooking, playing sports, or recreational activities.
- Of the eye injuries that occur at home, more than a third of those injuries happened in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
- Men are more likely to get an eye injury than women.
- Of the respondents, only 35% wear protective eyewear when doing home repair or projects.
- More than 78% of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury.
Practice Fireworks Safety
Independence Day is a day full of fun with backyard barbecues, playing in the pool, and being with friends and family to watch fireworks. This is one of the most important days to practice eye safety.
According to the 2017 US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual fireworks injury report, 14% of firework injuries were eye injuries. It is always best to leave the fireworks to the professionals; however, if you are going to shoot off fireworks, it’s always important to wear safety goggles. This protects your eyes from embers or sparks that may appear when lighting fireworks.
First Aid for Eye Injuries – Seek Medical Care If You Experience Eye Trauma
If you experience trauma or injury to your eye, it is important to seek emergency medical care immediately.
If you have been hit in the eye:
- Gently apply a cold compress to the injured eye.
- Do not apply pressure, as this could damage the already injured eye.
- Seek out medical care as soon as possible, especially if you have any vision impairment. You could be experiencing a torn or detached retina.
If your eye is punctured or cut:
- Gently place a shield over the eye. DO NOT press the shield over the eye.
- DO NOT rinse with water.
- DO NOT try and remove any objects in the eye.
- DO NOT take aspirin, ibuprofen such as Advil®, or any other anti-inflammatory medication. This causes the blood to become thinner and may increase bleeding.
- Seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible.
If you experience a chemical burn or splash in the eye:
- IMMEDIATELY flush the eye with clean water.
- Seek emergency medical care as fast as possible.
- Know what chemical came in contact with the eye so the doctor can properly treat the eye.
Remembering to practice eye injury prevention and eye safety all year long will keep your eyes healthy. If it’s been more than one year since your last eye exam, call Louisiana Eye & Laser to schedule an appointment today.