Protecting Eyes From Injury, by Dr. Soo Mee Pak Ophthalmologist, Nyack Hospital
Almost half of all eye injuries occur in the home. Wearing the right protective eyewear can prevent more than 90 percent of serious eye injuries. Yet, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, as many as two-thirds of people don’t always wear protective eyewear when they perform home repairs or maintenance. This type of eyewear, such as safety goggles or wraparound glasses, protects the eyes more thoroughly than regular glasses and contacts used for vision correction.
More than 40 percent of eye injuries are caused by projects and activities including yard work, home repairs, cleaning and cooking. The Academy recommends every household have at least one pair of protective eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), for use during projects and activities that could result in eye injury.
You should wear protective eyewear when you
• Cook foods that can splatter hot oil or grease
• Use hazardous products such as bleach or oven cleaner
• Drill or hammer screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces, such as cement or brick
• Use curling irons or other hot objects near your face
• Open champagne bottles
• Mow the lawn
• Clip hedges and bushes
• Use a power trimmer or edger
• Use power or hand tools
• Work with solvents
Children’s eyes are especially vulnerable. To protect them
• Make sure they wear eye protection when watching parents perform chores that could harm the eyes—or have them leave the area.
• Ensure they wear sports eye protectors made with polycarbonate lenses for many activities, including baseball, racquet sports, hockey, lacrosse and paintball.
• Practice safe use of common items, such as paper clips, pencils, scissors and rubber bands, which can cause an eye injury in children.
• Don’t allow them near fireworks, particularly bottle rockets.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology website www.geteyesmart.org explains the different types of protective eyewear available, and which types of eyewear are best for activities at home, play and work. Making an investment in protective gear now can protect your eyes for years to come.
New York Ophthalmologist Dr. Soo Mee Pak of Ophthalmology Partners of Rockland in New City and on staff at Nyack Hospital, shares what you can do to keep your eyes safe from harm.