INDIANAPOLIS – The American Academy of Ophthalmology has proclaimed October as Eye Injury Prevention Month. In honor of this observance, ophthalmologists at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, want to remind the community members of simple safety measures that can possibly save their sight.
“Much of what we advise is common sense, but it bears repeating if it will save one individual from potential vision loss or damage to his or her eyes,” said Jennifer Eikenberry, M.D., assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology and medical director, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute Ophthalmology Center, Indiana University Health. “We want this observance to encourage people to address potential safety hazards that could lead to injuries of the eyes – and elsewhere for that matter.”
Eye-opening facts to help encourage eye safety:
- 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States each year.
- 90 percent of these injuries could have been prevented with the use of protective eyewear.
- 11 percent of eye injuries are caused by slips and falls.
- The most common eye injury, accounting for 35 percent, is a foreign body in the eye.
- More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day – with 10-20 percent causing temporary or permanent vision loss.
- 35 percent of all eye injuries occur in people 18 to 45 years in age.
- Wearing protective eyewear can prevent up to 90 percent of all home eye injuries.
- Accidents were reported as the cause of 80 percent of all eye injuries according to AAO.
Steps that can prevent eye injuries:
- Wear American National Standards Institute-approved safety glasses when using power tools, such as nail guns and hedge trimmers.
- Make sure that rugs and shower/bath-tub mats are slip-proof.
- Secure loose railings.
- Cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishings and home fixtures for young children and elderly.
- Use caution and eyewear when opening or preparing solvents or chemicals.
- Don’t allow children or other adults to play in the yard while mowing. Lawnmowers can throw stones or other projectiles that can cause eye injuries.
If an eye injury is received, see an ophthalmologist or go to an emergency room immediately. Delaying medical attention can result in vision loss or blindness, Dr. Eikenberry said.