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Preventing & Caring for Eye Injuries


July is National Eye Injury Prevention month. As eye care
professionals, we’ve dedicated our entire career to helping people keep their
vision healthy throughout life. Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the
simplest ways to safeguard your vision. And, when injury can’t be prevented,
timely treatment is the key to preserving your eyesight for years to come.

Preventing Eye Injuries

Knowing your risk of eye injury is the first step in
prevention. Men are at a higher risk to suffer from eye injuries than women. According
to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Ocular Trauma,
nearly half of all eye injuries occur at home. Performing home repairs, yard
work, cleaning, and cooking are the cause of nearly 40% of at-home eye injuries.
Eye injuries that happen outside of the home commonly occur during recreational
activities such as playing sports, or, less frequently, at work.

It’s reported that more than 78% of people were not wearing
eye protection at the time of their eye injury. Eye protection comes in many
forms—safety glasses, goggles, sunglasses, etc.—and wearing eye protection is
the single most important thing you can do to prevent eye injuries.

Caring for Eye Injuries

Trauma to the eye may cause serious complications such as
slow bleeding, increase pressure in the eye, or vision loss. Oftentimes the
severity of an injury can only be seen by a doctor during an examination.

Common eye injury symptoms to look out for:

  • Injury to the eyelid, such as a cut or tear
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Persistent pain in the eye
  • Changes in eye movement
  • Unusual pupil shape or size
  • Sensation that there is something stuck in the

If you believe your eye has been scratched, do not rub or
apply pressure to the eye. Place a protective shield or patch over the eye and
seek medical attention as soon as possible.

In the case of injury caused by a foreign object or small
particle in the eye, try flushing the object out with running water or saline
solution. If this doesn’t result in removal of the particle, seek medical

If you’ve been hit in the eye, apply a cold compress to help
reduce swelling with very light pressure and seek medical attention.

Remember, even if the eye injury seems minor, it’s important
to see an ophthalmologist or other medical doctor.