Preventing Eye Injuries
Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the most basic things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life.
You may be somewhat aware of the possible risks of eye injuries, but are you taking the easiest step of all to prevent 90 percent of those injuries: wearing the proper protective eyewear?
If you are not taking this step, you are not alone. According to a national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of respondents said they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance; even fewer do so while playing sports.
If you have suffered an eye injury, review these care and treatment recommendations. But most importantly, have an ophthalmologist or other medical doctor examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor.
Eye Injury Facts and Myths
- Men are more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
- Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in the course of work at factories and construction sites. But, in fact, nearly half (44.7 percent) of all eye injuries occurred in the home, as reported during the fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot (conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma).
- More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
- More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
- Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
- Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.
Ophthalmology and Eye Injuries
Nearly a dozen ophthalmology organizations are working together to help reduce the rate of eye injuries by encouraging people to wear protective eyewear.