Eye Safety at Home and the Work Place

April 28, 2020

Eye Safety at Home and the Workplace

Over a million eye injuries happen every year in people’s homes. It is estimated 90 percent of those injuries could be prevented with proper eye safety. At our practice, Advanced Family Eye Care, here in Springdale, Arkansas, we see at least a handful of patients each week who have had injuries to their eyes.

What are common safety hazards at home?

mowing the lawn

Using power tools and falling can make any object dangerous, especially in regards to the eyes. The most common injuries are often caused by toys with small parts/projectiles or from chemicals.

Injuries can also happen when cooking, especially when cooking with hot oil or charcoal. Cosmetic injuries can happen as well when gluing fake eyelashes or using a curling iron – there are a lot of avenues for potential injury.

Some of the most dangerous places for eyes are when working outside or in the garage. Lawnmowers and weed eaters can throw rocks and other projectiles at high velocity, risking injury to the eye. Welding, grinding, and high impact jobs can cause particles or burns to damage the eye as well. Also use caution when using fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals for lawn care or your garden.

How can you best protect your eyes?

wearing safety glasses

First is creating an environment that promotes safety, making sure you use proper tools for proper jobs in the home, kitchen, garage, and lawn. Be sure not to mix improper chemicals when cleaning your home. Bleach is a common cleaning agent that is not safe to mix with a majority of other cleaners such as ammonia, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Be sure to read safety labels and as a general rule of thumb don’t mix chemicals together! Make sure to buy age-appropriate toys for children, and don’t leave them unsupervised with toys that may cause injury.

Using eye protection is the next important step, and usually, standard glasses won’t cut it. Normal glasses are often not rated for impact resistance, and can actually shatter and cause further injury. Safety goggles or splash goggles that are OSHA rated are recommended when using chemicals for cleaning or lawn care, they can help prevent chemical burn to the eyes. Using polycarbonate safety glasses and face masks are recommended when working around high velocity or impact jobs. Using a grinder, mowing, or using other tools can cause debris to fly towards the face, and impact-resistant lenses can be a savior when a projectile is involved.

When should I seek help if I may have had an eye injury?

As soon as possible! We see numerous patients a week that have injuries to the eye, and the longer you wait to be seen the worse the condition becomes. Injuries involving metal to the eye can rust, and other foreign objects may cause infection. If chemicals or other foreign bodies may have entered the eye, flush the eye with clean water (preferably in an eyewash station) and call our office to be seen immediately. Do not attempt to remove objects in your eye yourself. Improperly removing objects can make the injury worse, and cause secondary problems that can cause serious complications.

These need to be treated as soon as possible to help prevent further injury. If you or a loved one feels like they may have gotten something in their eye or an injury to the eye, be sure to call our office as soon as possible!

Posted in Blog, Eyecare Tips by Logan Page, O.D. | Tags: