A North Carolina Vision Source Guide To Eye Safety

According to Prevent Blindness America, over 2.4 million eye injuries occur each year, and over 1 million Americans have lost some degree of eyesight as a result. Some injuries are a result of unfortunate accidents and your Vision Source eye care practice is always available for eye emergencies. If immediate care is necessary, call 911 or go to your local emergency room. There are many injuries that happen in the home and at work, but most can be prevented with proper safety and precautionary care.

Protective Eyewear and Common Eye Injury Causes

Simply wearing a pair of protective goggles when working in or around the home or office when there is potential for eye injury, can greatly reduce your risk. As a matter of fact, most experts believe that 90% of all eye injuries could have been avoided with protective eyewear.

The most common eye injuries on the job are from:

  • Flying objects, or air or wind blown particles
  • Tools and repair projects
  • Chemicals such as gas, oils, solvents or acids
  • Harmful radiation

At home, eye injuries can happen during common household chores and everyday tasks. Protective eyewear may not always make sense, but caution should be exercised. Common causes of home injuries includes:

  • Household cleaners and chemicals
  • Eyelash curlers, mascara brushes and other makeup utensils
  • Long fingernails
  • Lawn, garden and hand tools
  • Spring loaded devices and bungee cords
  • Sharp edged toys and games
  • Champagne corks
  • Flying debris or objects in the yard
  • Falls

Sports and Protective Eyewear

Sports related eye injures are fairly common and happen far often than one might think.   Any sport where there is close contact or the activity involves a ball or swinging in the proximity of others can cause serious injury to the eye. Many sports injuries are a result of an unexpected poke or jab in the eye such as while playing basketball, a sport with extremely high rate of eye injury. Today, protective sports eyewear is common in any sport with a ball, racquet or stick, from little league sports to professional athletic teams. If the sport poses a chance for eye injury, protective eyewear is highly recommended.There are many sports goggles that look as cool as the athlete wearing them and they come in all shapes and sizes. Most sports lenses are made of scratch resistant polycarbonate material that is highly resistant to any impact. Most sports frames can accommodate eye prescriptions and there are also wrap around styles for contact lens wearers.

“It is always best to error on the side of eye safety and to wear protective eyewear in sports such as baseball, basketball, hockey, bike riding, racquetball, and any outdoor sport where your eyes are exposed to high winds or fast moving objects.”

Alex Martin, OD
Martin Eye Care, Sanford, NC
Vision Source Member since 2004

UV Protection And Your Eyes

Did you know that your eye can become sunburned? Excessive exposure to UV Radiation within short periods of time can cause an effect called Photokeratitus. It can be painful and cause excessive tearing and sensitivity to light. This condition is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage to the eye, but should be avoided by always wearing high quality UV protective sunglasses.

  • The suns primary danger for both children and adults is over exposure to UV radiation, which can have short-term and long-term effects to your vision.
  • UV damage can also come from other sources such as welding machines tanning beds or laser light sources.
  • Studies have shown that even small amounts of UV exposure over a period of years can increase chances of developing cataracts, macular degeneration or contribute to retinal damage.
  • In addition to eye disease, 90% of skin cancer occurs on the face and neck with as much as 10% occurring on the eyelids.

“There is no doubt of the harm that UV rays can do to your eyes and at all times and at all ages, wearing quality sunglasses matters to your vision health.”

Dr. Allen Byrd, OD
Alan Byrd & Associates, Dunn, NC
Vision Source Member Since 2006