Eye injuries can be devastating. In best-case scenarios, eye injuries cause intense and even debilitating pain. In worst-case scenarios, they can result in losing some or all of your vision. Because of its importance and delicacy, preventing eye injuries should be on the top of everyone’s list of priorities—especially when engaging in dangerous activities.
The most common eye injuries are related to accidents that happen at home and at work. A few examples of common causes of injuries are:
– Chemical spills at home and at work
– Flying objects, including champagne corks
– Your own fingernails scraping the layer of the eye
– Outdoor work, such as mowing the yard, blowing leaf clippings, and so forth
– Sport related injuries, such as taking a ball to the eye
– Using fireworks
Of course, the eye can become injured in any accident; you simply have to take precautions. So what precautions can you take?
One of the best pieces of advice is to wear eye protection when doing anything that is potentially harmful, such as yard work or playing certain sports. In addition, focus on the task at hand. Multitasking can increase the chances of having an accident, and if an accident does occur, you will be less prepared to protect yourself. Perhaps most importantly, be sure to wash your hands before touching your eyes, as this limits the transfer of viruses and dirt to the eyes. Sometimes you might need to wash them more than once, especially if you have been dealing with very strong substances. Once I touched my eyes after chopping spicy peppers, and my eyes were burning for hours!
In the event that you do have an eye injury, call your optometrist immediately; he or she will advise you on what to do. Many times the cure is as simple as washing the eye with saline solution to help ease the discomfort and remove the object. Other times, a person may need to go to the emergency room to deal with their injury. Remember that any eye injury can be serious and cause loss of vision, thus it is better to overreact rather than not do anything at all.