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October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Photo courtesy of AAO
Photo courtesy of AAO

The American Academy of Ophthalmology sets aside the month of October for a public health awareness campaign aimed at preventing eye injuries. According to the AAO nearly 2.5 million people suffer eye injuries each year in the United States and nearly half of all those types of injuries occur in the home, and nearly one million people have lost some degree of vision as a result.

Most could have been prevented with protective eyewear. The AAO has listed some of the most common places that eye injuries happen as well as prevention tips for these indoor and outdoor activities:

  • In the house: When using household chemicals, read the instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness. For this reason, it is very important to use appropriate eye protection to prevent blinding consequences from chemical splashes.
  • In the workshop:
    Think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes, dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.
  • In the garden:
    Put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines.
  • In the garage:
    Battery acid sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Learn the proper way to jumpstart an automobile, and keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.

In an effort to combat household eye injuries, the Academy recommends that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear to be worn when doing projects and activities at home to safeguard against eye injuries. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is manufactured to meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eye protection standard. ANSI-approved protective eye wear can be easily purchased from most hardware stores nationwide and can be identified by the mark “Z87” placed on the eye wear. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is not approved for use in sports. To locate appropriate eyewear for specific sports or to learn more about eye injuries visit.

Thank you to the AAO for the information presented in this article.

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