Our eyes are a fundamental part of how we understand and experience the world, so ingrained to our lives that we often do not think about them until something goes wrong. Sadly, up to 90% of eye injuries are actually preventable, it’s just that taking care of our eyes is not always our first consideration in a busy life.
Consider, however, the disruption an eye injury can cause. It’s time to start thinking about our eyes.
Eye injuries peak in the summer months, a combination of debris and dust getting blown into the eyes from lawn mowers and other lawn tools and fireworks shooting out of control. Working and celebrating outside is fantastic, but be aware of the risks to yourself and any kids nearby.
Fortunately, the fix for these concerns is easy: wear safety goggles. Very light weight versions are available in any hardware store, and should be a part of the outdoor-work uniform.
Chemicals are also a serious threat to our eyes! From drain cleaners to bleach or oven cleaners, the powerful chemicals are dangerous around our eyes. While the fume can irritate, accidental splashes can cause serious damage.
If you have goggles, wear them for the household chores that require these intense chemicals. If not, at the very least wear glasses or sunglasses, make sure the room is very well ventilated, and do not splash or spray anywhere near your face.
A more invisible threat than woodchips or bleach, but equally dangerous over time, is the sun. We hear that the sun can be dangerous for our skin, and sunscreen is an important tool to protect ourselves, but strong sun is also bad for our eyes! Exposure can increase our risks for cataracts and other eye diseases, including cancer.
The solution for this is fashionable! Simply wear your favorite pair of sunglasses when you’re out in the sun. Be sure they have a 97% or higher UV protection rating.
Eye injuries in children are a long-standing concern. Haven’t we all heard the proverbial mother warning “You could put someone’s eye out with that!”? Well, this isn’t entirely off base. Be sure that children know how to correctly carry sharp items like scissors, or pointed items like pencils and crayons. Teach them that no missile, from a BB to a rubber band, is a toy.
Our eyes are a vital part of how we experience the world. Understand the common risks, and be sure to take care of your eyes, this month and every month.