October is Eye Injury Prevention Month
We often are told to wear our seat belts and wash our hands. But eye injury prevention doesn’t always make the list. Most eye injuries each year occur at home, so we must think about this as we do our daily activities.
Below are a few examples of everyday activities that can cause an eye injury:
- Household chemicals/bleach. A chemical spray or splash in the eye can cause anything from minor irritation to a chemical burn. If this occurs, immediately flush your eye by putting your head under a steady stream of room-temperature tap water for 15 minutes. Contact an eye doctor or primary care provider to determine the next recommended step.
- Hot grease/oil. As with chemicals/bleach, you must flush your eye and contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Tools. If a foreign object gets in your eye, DO NOT rub your eye. Try to let your tears wash the speck out or flush your eye with water. Seek immediate medical help if this does not work. Remember, even hanging a picture can cause a nail to become a projectile and land in your eye.
- Lawn care. You must always wear protective eyewear when mowing the grass, trimming hedges, cutting wood, or using power tools. If someone approaches you while using a lawnmower, stop the engine. Rocks and other objects found in the lawn can fly toward someone and cause injury.
- Sports. Remember, when playing sports, wear protective eyewear. Baseball is the most common sport to cause eye injuries.
A few key reminders:
- Use protective eyewear when doing projects at home, when working outside, and for sports.
- Wear sunglasses that provide 97-100 percent UV protection when you spend time outdoors.
- Make sure you and your family get regular eye check-ups and screenings.
- If you have a chronic disease like diabetes, follow through on any physician recommendations related to eye care.
If you experience a serious eye injury, do not try to treat it yourself. Because eye injuries can cause vision loss, you must contact your primary care provider immediately.
Nathan Murray, PA-C
Marlow Family Care