October is eye injury prevention month, and eye injuries in the home are more common than most people realize, especially in households with multiple children of various ages. Cleaning chemicals may splash in the eyes accidentally. Dusting high areas may introduce dust particles, and yardwork risks penetrating eye injuries from flying objects. Children and older adults are more at risk for falling and experiencing face and eye trauma.
Our eye doctors at Clarity Eye Group can diagnose and treat most eye injuries. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of eye injuries in your household.
1. Reduce Fall, Trip, and Injury Hazards in Your Home
How you mitigate eye injuries in your home depends on how many people live with you and their ages. For small children, make sure there are no sharp edges on furniture and home fixtures, and keep cleaning products up high in a cupboard. For adults, make sure your stairs have handrails and lighting that allows you to see the steps clearly. Cords on the floor to various appliances, devices, and gadgets can be a trip hazard and should be secured to prevent eye injuries and falls.
2. Exercise Caution with Hazardous Chemicals
Household chemicals and beauty products can cause eye irritation, infection, and vision concerns. Use these products as intended, and make sure the nozzle is away from your face before spraying. If you’re using harsh chemicals, solvents, or detergents, wash your hands before you touch your face or rub your eyes.
3. Wear Protective Eye Gear When Appropriate
Safety goggles can prevent severe eye trauma during yard work and outdoor activities at home, such as lawn mowing, using a woodchipper, shooting arrows or paintballs, and lighting fireworks. These activities increase the risk of penetrating eye injuries that may cause permanent damage to your vision or eye health.
4. Protect Your Eyes from UV Radiation
Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive sun exposure increases the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Sunglasses can also reduce eye irritation caused by wind and dust by blocking the debris.
5. Teach Your Loved Ones What to Do After an Eye Injury
Not all eye injuries are preventable, and you can only do so much to protect your family. Make sure the kids and adults in your home understand what to do after an eye injury.
- Blunt Eye Trauma: Use a cold compress after a blow to the eye area but do not put pressure on the eye. Over-the-counter pain medications can ease the pain, but seek help from an ophthalmologist or physician if bleeding, bruising, or vision changes occur.
- Eye Lacerations: Stay calm and keep the injured eye closed. Don’t remove anything or rub the eye. Wear sunglasses to reduce light sensitivity and visit the nearest emergency department for urgent care.
- Penetrating Eye Injury: Call 911 immediately if an object enters the eyeball or socket.
Reach out to an eye doctor or physician if you experience swelling, tearing, redness, eye pain, vision changes, muscle spasms, or headaches, or if you have achy, heavy eyelids after an eye injury. If in doubt, it never hurts to call and discuss your symptoms.