For better or worse, we tend to take our eyesight for granted. After all, it’s there every time we open our eyes and even if your vision isn’t perfect there’s a good chance it can be corrected with prescription eyewear or contact lenses. So for most people it’s simply not something we tend to spend a whole lot of time thinking about. That is, until something unexpected happens and suddenly it’s gone. In the United States over20,000 people a year suffer an on-the-job eye injury, 90 percent of which are entirely preventable. With July being Eye Injury Prevention Month, this is an excellent time to shed some light on common eye injuries and what you should do in case one of them happens to you or someone you know.
Common Eye Injury Incidents
If you look at the human face, you’ll see that the bone structure actually helps protect you from eye injury. Unfortunately, any number of objects or materials can still cause damage to the eyeball, ranging from minor to catastrophic.
For instance, it’s a good bet everyone has gotten an eyelash or some sand in their eye at one point or another during their life. It’s usually a just minor inconvenience and your tear ducts will automatically start flowing in an attempt to rinse the foreign object out as soon as possible. You can also flush out the irritant with clean, distilled water. However if you start rubbing your eye, you could easily scratch your cornea and turn an annoyance into something more serious.
Liquids such as cleansers and acids are more serious, but can also often be neutralized and cleaned out with an eye wash solution or clean water.
You can end up with a black eye or swelling due to anything from a baseball to a door to an unexpected encounter with someone’s elbow while playing basketball. In this case your best bet is keeping the swelling down with an ice pack.
These are just a few examples of simple injuries. But be mindful of the fact that any eye injury should also include a visit to an eye care professional at the very least, or even to the hospital or emergency room in the case of something more serious, such as a penetration injury. Also, consider wearing eye protection if the activity you’re participating in, whether work or play, involves any chance of foreign objects flying through the air and possibly causing an eye injury.