That’s over a million eye injuries per year happening in the place where we should be safer than anywhere else! Fortunately, 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable, and there’s a lot we can do to minimize the risk of home eye injuries.
Innocent household items like pens, pencils, and the corners of furniture can become eye hazards in an accident. The biggest culprits of home eye injuries, though, are cleaning chemicals and toys with small parts. Even cooking can put our eyes in danger if we lean in too close to a skillet of hot oil.
There are plenty of dangers outdoors as well. Lawn mowers fling debris in every direction, as do some gardening and work tools. Chemicals we use on our lawns and gardens, like pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, are also significant hazards.
Even if we take every precaution, accidents can still happen. The most common types of eye injuries are a foreign substance in the eye, a foreign object in the eye, and foreign body penetration of the eye. For the latter, seek immediate medical attention. Don’t try to remove the object and don’t touch the eye. Cover it with a rigid shield (like a paper cup) to keep it from being disturbed while you get to the emergency room.
For foreign objects in the eye, it’s still a good idea to avoid touching it and get to the hospital quickly, because it could be worse than it looks. In the short term, foreign objects can often be flushed out with water. In the case of a foreign substance in the eye (such as harmful chemicals), flushing with water for 20 minutes can wash it away and minimize the effects.
We are happy and eager to educate our patients on good eye safety practices and precautions. Whether you need recommendations for the best protective eye gear, how to make your home safer for curious young children, or what to do in an emergency, we can help!