According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), approximately 2.5 million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Perhaps more surprisingly, the AAO estimates that 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented by wearing the proper protective eyewear.
Are you taking the right steps to protect your eyes from injury? In this blog post, Los Angeles LASIK surgeon and eye doctor Dr. Linda Vu discusses common ways that injuries can occur and what you can do to protect your eyes.
Playing Your Favorite Sport
A large percentage of eye injuries are sports-related. If you regularly play a contact or collision sport, it’s a good idea to invest in quality protective eye goggles or the gear recommended for your sport. Proper eyewear also keeps your eyes away from debris and irritants in the air that can harm your eyes and limit your performance.
On the Job
The AAO recommends you be aware of potential eye dangers at work and take the proper steps to eliminate those hazards before working. For instance, if you work with heavy machinery, using machine guarding, safety goggles and face shields can drastically reduce the chances of a serious accident. If you work in the healthcare, laboratory or janitorial industries, you are at an increased risk of eye infections. Protect your eyes by wearing protective eyewear as well as gloves, and by washing your hands frequently.
Completing Home Repair Projects
Many people believe that eye injuries occur most often in the workplace, especially at factories and construction sites. However, a study conducted by the AAO and the American Society of Ocular Trauma reveals that this isn’t true. Almost half (44.7 percent to be exact) of all eye injuries occur at home while engaging in repair projects, yard work, cleaning and cooking. It’s important to wear protective eye goggles when doing repair projects or maintenance at home. If an eye injury occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
Spending Time Outdoors
UV exposure is an everyday danger that is often forgotten but poses a big threat to your eye health. Spending too much time outdoors without proper sun protection can lead to photokeratitis, a sunburn-like eye condition that can lead to blurry vision and even temporary vision loss. Long-term, UV exposure can increase your risk of serious eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. The best way to protect your eyes from sun damage is by wearing sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection. Wraparound sunglasses are best as they block the most UV rays, as well as dust, debris and other irritants from reaching the eyes.
If you have suffered an eye injury, Dr. Vu encourages you to seek medical attention immediately, even if the injury seems minor. If left untreated, some injuries can lead to serious and permanent vision loss.
For more tips and information on how to protect your vision, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Vu. Contact Linda Vision by calling (626) 382-2020 or sending us an email today.