By Eyecare NG
Eye injuries are common. Over 90% of them take place in informal settings or environments where there are no enforced policies on eye protection; and a significant number of cases result in temporary or permanent blindness.
Dealing with blindness can be horrifying. It incapacitates the affected individual and presents a burden to the individual’s family, workplace and society in general. Therefore, it is incredibly important that we prevent eye injuries.
The best way to protect the eyes from injuries is by eliminating all eye hazards in the environment. However, this is often not possible as some of the hazards are the tools, substances and materials that we need for work, sports/play and other daily activities.
In situations where it not possible to eliminate an eye hazard, taking precautions to avoid or minimize exposure to the hazard is essential for injury prevention.
One of the most effective way to prevent an eye injury in the presence of a hazard is to put on a safety eyewear. Safety eyewear, also known as protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of all eye injuries. To ensure maximum protection, use the safety eyewear suitable for the potential hazard. As a guide,
- People who engage in impact sports, should wear impact resistant sports eyewear.
- People who work in areas where they are exposed to flying objects and dust should wear safety glasses with side shields.
- People who work with chemicals should wear safety goggles.
- Those around hazardous radiations including welders should use safety glasses or goggles with the right radiation/glare filter. There may be need for secondary protection with full face shields and helmets designed for the tasks involved.
- Those that handle highly infectious biological materials should wear face shields over safety glasses/googles or full-face respirators.
- If exposed to the sun for prolonged periods, ensure that your protective eyewear offers UV protection.
Other tips for eye injury prevention include:
- Removing hazards on the path of human movement to prevent falls and blows.
- Avoiding toys with sharp edges for children and discouraging them from throwing objects during play.
- Supervising children while they are using tools like pencils, pen, knives, scissors, forks and other sharp objects.
- Keeping hazardous chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Being cautious while using household agents to avoid spilling or spraying them towards your face.