Eye injuries can occur in many situations, whether one is exercising or simply walking down the street. These injuries vary in severity from minor irritations to permanent damage. It is a good idea to take special measures to prevent these injuries from happening.
Sports are one of the most common causes of eye injuries. When playing basketball, baseball, soccer, or any other sport, it is important to wear the appropriate eye protection (usually goggles or face shields). Doing so can greatly reduce the risk of injury.
Eye injuries can also happen while carrying out DIY projects, such as home repairs. When using power tools or working with chemicals, wearing the appropriate eye protection, such as safety glasses or goggles, is of the utmost importance. Following safety instructions and making sure to avoid working when tired are also good ideas.
Eye Safety in Sports
While sports are a great way to stay in shape and promote good mental health, they can also be hazardous to our eyes.
Eye injuries can happen during a basketball game by getting hit by someone’s elbow or finger, or even the ball itself. Wearing protective eyewear that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards is the best way to prevent these injuries.
Baseball and Softball
During a basketball or softball game, injuries can occur either by getting hit by the ball or the bat. Wearing a helmet with a faceguard is essential when standing at the plate.
As a contact sport, football comes with potential eye injuries which can happen when getting hit by someone’s finger, elbow, or helmet. Wearing a helmet with a visor or shielding for the eyes is a great idea.
During a hockey game, eye injuries can happen when getting hit by a stick, puck, or the body of another player. Hockey players should wear a helmet that covers their whole faces for the entirety of the game.
During a soccer game, eye injuries can happen when a player is hit by the ball or another player's foot. Wearing protective eyewear that is up to ASTM standards is highly recommended.
When swimming in a pool or the ocean, eye injuries can result from getting hit by another swimmer's appendages (hands or feet). Swimmers should wear goggles that fit their faces well to prevent these injuries.
During a tennis game, eye injuries are possible, either from getting hit by the ball or a racket. Wearing eyewear during these games is a good idea.
During a volleyball game, eye injuries can happen from contact with the ball or another player’s hand. Wearing protective eyewear and being aware of one’s surroundings are essential during these games.
Eye Safety at Work
Eye injuries can also happen in a number of work settings. In most industries, employers are required to provide proper training, safety equipment, and a safe work environment for their staff.
Construction and manufacturing
Those who work construction and manufacturing workers are at an increased risk of eye injuries from flying debris, chemicals, and dust. Workers should be provided with the proper safety equipment and trained to use proper eye protection. The work environment should also have proper lighting to prevent eye strain.
Exposure to infections, chemicals, and radiation are all risks that come with working in healthcare. Workers should wear the appropriate eye protection (goggles or face shields) when called for. Frequent hand washing is also recommended for healthcare workers.
Laboratories and research facilities
Laboratory and research facility workers spend a lot of time around chemicals, biological agents, and radiation. As such, these workers should wear protective eyewear at all applicable times. They should also be thoroughly trained on how to prevent accidents.
Welding and cutting
Welding and cutting facilities put employees at risk for eye injuries from sparks, ultraviolet radiation, and infrared radiation. Welding helmets and goggles should be worn at all times. Workers should also be trained to use proper eye protection and be provided with a well-ventilated area to work in.
Eye safety at home
While the home may seem like a safe environment, engaging in certain activities in the home can still be dangerous.
When doing a DIY project, it is recommended to:
- Wear protective eyewear whenever using power tools, hammers, saws, or anything else that may cause flying debris
- Keep the work area well-lit
- Follow all safety guidelines
This applies to all situations that involve power tools.
Gardening and yard work
When gardening, it is a good idea to:
- Wear protective eyewear when using lawnmowers, trimmers, or any other tools that create debris that can fly into one’s eyes
- Look out for low-hanging branches that can scratch one’s eyes
What is the takeaway?
Eye injuries can happen in various situations and have various causes. As such, it is vital that patients look into potential sources of injury and do their best to protect against them. Taking preemptive measures is the best way to keep our eyes healthy.