Mayuri Bhakta
FNP-BC Medcor Provider

Eyesight is priceless. One of the easiest ways to keep your eyes healthy is to protect them!  Without proper protection, people risk eye injuries at home, at work, and at play. Eye injuries can cause pain, permanent changes in vision, and even blindness. Test your knowledge about vision protection with this fact-or-fiction quiz.

Fact or fiction? Men are more likely than women to sustain eye injuries.

Fact. Men are more likely to engage in activities that put them at higher risk for eye injuries. However, all people should be sure to wear approved protective eyewear before engaging in sports, work, and even household chores and projects that may pose a risk for an eye injury.

Fact or fiction? Sunglasses with polarized lenses provide better UV protection.

Fiction. Polarized lenses offer glare reduction, but no UV protection. Too much time in the sun without UV protection for your eyes can contribute to cancer, growths on the eye, or even cataracts. The tint of the lenses does not affect the UV protection rating. When shopping for sunglasses, it is important to look for glasses labeled 100% UV protection.

Fact or fiction? Corrective vision eyeglasses and regular sunglasses offer adequate vision protection for activities such as mowing the lawn, using power tools, and cleaning with chemicals such as bleach.

Fiction. These kinds of glasses do not adequately protect the eyes from debris and spray. Moreover, some glasses shatter on impact, which can cause even greater injury than if a person weren’t wearing them. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issues safety standards for protective eyewear. Even at home, use ANSI-approved protective eyewear for your chores and DIY projects.

How’d you do on the quiz? Read on for more insight into vision protection.

What Causes Eye Injuries?

Common causes of eye injuries include:

  • Flying debris or particles from tasks such as mowing the lawn, nailing or drilling holes, clipping hedges or bushes, and using a power saw
  • Using hazardous chemicals in the house or at work
  • Cooking foods that can cause hot grease or oil to splatter
  • Opening champagne bottles
  • Using fireworks
  • Using BB guns or pellet guns
  • Using bungee cords
  • Not wearing UV protected eyewear in sunlight (this includes during the winter, when snow can powerfully reflect sunlight)
  • Pointing laser pointers directly into someone’s eye(s)

How can I prevent eye injuries?

  • Wear protective eyewear or splashguards when performing any task that could result in flying particles or debris or when using hazardous chemicals. Every household should have ANSI-approved protective eyewear for use when doing home repair projects and other activities around the house. OSHA regulations incorporate by reference ANSI-certified eye protection at work.
  • Wear protective eyewear when playing sports. For each sport, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and/or the sport’s governing body may determine the level of eye protection needed.
  • Supervise your child when they are using tools or at play and keep sharp objects away.
  • Eliminate fall and trip hazards.
  • Be careful when cooking to avoid splashing oils and hot grease around the eyes.
  • Use caution when using laser pointers; avoid pointing them directly at someone’s eyes.
  • Open champagne bottles at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and bystanders.
  • Wear 100% UV protection eyewear during prolonged exposure to sunlight.

References

American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Eye Injuries at Home,” March 1, 2016, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-in-home

American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Eye Injuries at Work,” February 22, 2016, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-work

David Turbert, “Preventing Eye Injuries,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, March 23, 2019, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/preventing-injuries

David Turbert, “Protective Eyewear,” March 23, 2019, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-protective-eyewear

David Turbert, “Sunglasses: Protection from UV Eye Damage,” April 21, 2014, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/sunglasses-3

David Turbert, “The Sun, UV Radiation and Your Eyes,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, August 28, 2014, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun

Mayo Clinic, “Eye injury: Tips to protect vision,” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/eye-injury/art-20047121