Mention injuries at home and the first ones to come to mind are probably things like hitting your knee on the coffee table, slipping on the porch stairs or throwing out your back lifting heavy furniture. Eye injuries may not be the first ones you think of, but almost half of the 2.5 million eye injuries suffered each year occur in the home. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT), more than 30 percent of all home eye injuries required emergency room care. Eye injury is also one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States. Just as we would wear gloves to protect our hands, long sleeves to protect our arms or “lift with the legs” to protect our backs, the same should apply to our eyes. About 90 percent of these eye injuries can be prevented by simply wearing protective eye gear. According to the organization Prevent Blindness America, the most common eye injuries occur when doing lawn work, kitchen projects or working with harsh chemicals. Flying debris or nails from construction projects also cause a significant number of eye injuries. Prevent Blindness America encourages use of eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute. It should have the “Z-87” logo on the frames and can be purchased at hardware stores and home building centers. Check out the Prevent Blindness America website for more tips on preventing eye injuries in the home.
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