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Eye Injury Prevention Month & Halloween Safety Month
October is eye injury prevention month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds the public that nearly half of all eye injuries occur in the home.
Nearly 2.5 million people suffer eye injuries each year in the United States, and nearly one million people have lost some degree of vision as a result. Most could have been prevented with protective eyewear. These are some of the most common places that eye injuries happen and prevention tips for both indoor and outdoor activities:
- In the house – When using household chemicals, read the instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness. For this reason, it is very important to use appropriate eye protection to prevent blinding consequences from chemical splashes.
- In the workshop – Think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes, dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.
- In the garden – Put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines.
- In the garage – Battery acid sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Learn the proper way to jump-start an automobile, and keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.
In an effort to combat household eye injuries, the Academy recommends that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear to be worn when doing projects and activities at home to safeguard against eye injuries.
ANSI-approved protective eyewear is manufactured to meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eye protection standard. ANSI-approved protective eye wear can be easily purchased from most hardware stores nationwide and can be identified by the mark "Z87" placed on the eye wear. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is not approved for use in sports. To locate appropriate eyewear for specific sports or to learn more about eye injuries visit www.GetEyeSmart.org.
This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart Campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).
Reduce the risk of eye injuries by not wearing decorative contact lenses and by ensuring that costume accessories are soft and pliable. Many patients are often treated in the emergency department with eye infections and injury from decorative contact lens. Either the lenses are kept in too long or shared among friends, or [they have] an allergen component -- all leading to an increased risk of a bacterial infection and permanent eye damage.
For more information on eye safety, visit:
Coming in November: Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month
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