How to Protect Your Eyes at Home
Every year, there are millions of eye injuries in the United States. Although some eye injuries are minor and may not require treatment, many eye injuries can be severe and lead to long-term vision issues if not immediately evaluated and addressed. While you might assume that most eye injuries occur in the workplace, especially in high-risk careers, the truth is that many eye injuries actually occur at home.
Unfortunately, many people don’t think about eye safety at home. After all, we don’t expect to suffer an eye injury while in the comfort and familiarity of our home. However, by arming yourself with knowledge, being aware of the daily activities that can lead to eye injuries, taking proper precautions to protect your eyes, and educating the members of your household about appropriate safety measures, you can prevent many home eye injuries from happening.
Irritation and Projectiles During Chores
From yard work to home improvement projects, there are many ways that you can injure your eye while doing chores around the house. For example, something as simple as a lawnmower can toss all kinds of debris up into the air. You might think that a little dirt and grass won’t cause much damage to your eyes, but dirt and grass in your eye can cause painful eye irritation or worse. If you use chemicals on your lawn, you could potentially end up with chemical burns on your eye.
Another dangerous activity is working with hand or power tools. Hand tools such as screwdrivers and hammers, as well as nails and screws, can easily fly out of someone’s hand and accidentally land in someone’s eye. Power tools, especially if they are old or damaged, can launch flying debris into your eyes.
Household Chemical Products
Many household cleaning products, including laundry detergent, bathroom cleaners, and even air fresheners, contain chemical ingredients that can be harmful or irritating to the eye. In some cases, fumes and vapors alone from cleaning chemicals can cause eye irritation. If these toxic substances come into contact with your eye, they can cause irritation or chemical burns.
Trauma During Recreational Activities
Your eyes aren’t at risk of being injured only while you’re doing housework – you can also hurt your eyes while doing certain recreational activities, especially if you play contact sports at home. Whether you’re playing backyard football or shooting hoops in your driveway, accidents are always possible. While a ball or accidental elbow to the eye isn’t always serious, blunt force trauma to the eye can sometimes cause a retinal tear or detachment, which is a vision-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention from a retina specialist.
How to Prevent Eye Injuries at Home
To prevent eye injuries from occurring at home, the following precautions are recommended:
- Always wear the proper eye protection for any chore you’re doing, including yard work, home repairs, and cleaning (e.g., safety glasses or goggles)
- Wear sports goggles while playing sports
- If working or playing outside, be sure to wear sunglasses or safety goggles that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays
- Use cleaners in well-ventilated areas
- Always point spray nozzles away from you
- Avoid mixing chemicals
Many eye injuries at home can be prevented if proper precautions are taken. Even if you think it’s silly to wear eye protection while doing things around the house, these precautions are far preferable to experiencing pain, stress, or vision loss. However, if you do end up experiencing an eye injury, be sure to get medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you’re experiencing flashes and floaters in your field of vision.
If you’re experiencing a sudden proliferation of flashes and floaters following a traumatic eye injury and are in need of emergency retinal care in Long Island or Queens, NY, please contact Vitreoretinal Consultants of NY today. We provide emergency care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.