July is Eye Injury Prevention and Awareness month. Most eye injuries are caused by falls and the number of falls tend to increase with age. The injuries also become more severe. Eye injuries which occur in seniors over 60 are the most costly to treat.
Several of the most common eye injuries are:
Scratched corneas. This can occur if you are accidentally poked in the eye or rub at your eye when a foreign body is present, such as sand. A scratched eye can cause sensitivity to light and redness of the eye. Once your eye is scratched, bacteria can easily enter the eye and cause further harm. See your eye doctor or go to the emergency room if you believe your eye has been scratched.
Foreign objects in the eye. If a piece of metal, glass or other object should pierce your eye, visit your emergency room immediately. Don’t rub your eye or attempt to remove the object as this can cause further harm.
Chemical burns. If you should be splashed in the eye with anything other than clean water, put your head under a stream of lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes, letting the water run into your eye and down your face. While many substances are fairly harmless in the long run, others can cause serious injury to your eyes.
How can you prevent injuries to your eyes?
- When spending time in the sun, always wear sunglasses.
- Since most eye injuries occur at home, wear safety glasses when doing yard work or home repairs. Be careful of splattering grease or oil when cooking.
- Wear appropriate eyewear when participating in sports events or recreational activities.
Clean your eyewear regularly and don’t rub at your eyes. Preventing injuries to your eyes can result in long term health for your eyes as well as lower health costs. To read more about vision and how to handle common eye injuries, click here.