Eye Safety

Tuesday, Jun 1, 2021 by Nisha Gupta, MD

This month we will discuss ways to keep your eyes safe from harm. It is common for injuries to happen while at work, but many happen at home too. Here are some tips to lower the risk of an injury.

  1. Wear protective safety glasses.

    These should be approved by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. The label Z-87 will be stamped on approved frames. Side shields are available to prevent small particles or dust from getting into the eyes. Wear your safety glasses when you are:

    • Operating machinery or power tools.
    • Exposed to harmful materials even as a bystander.
    • Performing yardwork including mowing the lawn, using leaf blowers, or trimming trees and bushes.


  2. Wear protective eyewear while playing sports.

    This eyewear is specifically for use during sports and should be labeled as ASTM F803. This meets the standards set by the ASTM, the American Society for Testing and Materials.

  3. Protect yourself when out in the sun:

    • Wear protective sunglasses. The most important factor when choosing sunglasses is that they must provide 100% UV (ultraviolet) protection from the sun’s rays. Polarized lenses reduce glare from the sun’s reflection on water and other surfaces. These lenses will not give more UV protection, but can make it easier to see while participating in certain outdoor activities. The color and darkness of the lenses is a personal choice; they will not affect the amount of UV protection you receive.
    • Wear a hat with the sunglasses for more protection.
    • Never look directly at the sun.
    • Avoid tanning beds as they have the same risks as being outside in the sun.


  4. Use caution while using cleaning supplies. Wear safety glasses or goggles if necessary, so that these do not enter or irritate the eyes.

  5. Remember to wash your hands. This should be done after using chemicals or after cooking with hot peppers or onions. Avoid touching the eyes and face until you have washed your hands to prevent any irritation.

  6. Use a grease shield while cooking. This will prevent splattering of oil into the eyes.

  7. Do not use curling irons close to the eyes. It is possible to burn the eyelid or cornea.

  8. Skip the fireworks at home. Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year, many affecting the eyes. Avoid the possibility of losing your vision by watching the professionals instead of using these at home.

If you have had or think you have had an injury, seek help from an ophthalmologist or go to your local emergency room right away. Permanent vision changes or vision loss can occur from delaying treatment.

To prevent additional damage to the eye after an injury it is important to keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not rub or apply pressure to the eye.
  • If there is an object stuck in the eye, do not attempt to remove it.
  • Do not apply any medication to the eye.
  • Flush the eye with clean water if it has been exposed to a chemical.
  • Gently cover the eye with a shield until seen by a physician.

Return next month for a new topic!

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