Each year, thousands of eye incidents occur and around 90% of these injuries could be avoided if proper precautions were taken. According to Prevent Blindness, over 125,000 eye injuries are caused by common household products and the others occur within the workplace. Typically, employers will take precautions to ensure the avoidance of injuries onsite, but it is also important to take preventative measures in your everyday life.

Common eye injuries can vary from corneal abrasions to chemical burns. Learning about these injuries the hard way, by getting hurt, can be scary. In order to know what to do in the case that you experience these injuries, it is important to research them and understand their severity.

The variety of injuries is wide, continue reading to learn about 3 of the most common injuries and their causes:

Scratched Eye (Corneal Abrasion)

Common causes of this injury are getting poked in an eye or rubbing the eye when a foreign substance is inside (ex. dust or sand). These scratches are very uncomfortable and cause redness, irritation, and sensitivity to light. If you have scratched your eye it is important to see your eye doctor seek treatment to avoid any possible infection.

Eye Swelling

Puffy and swollen eyelids can result from being hit in the eye by an object such as a baseball or an allergic reaction. Typically, those suffering from swelling around the eye just have a black eye but it can be useful to visit an eye doctor to ensure there is no internal damage.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhages (Eye Bleeding)

These eye injuries typically appear worse than they actually are. Subconjunctival hemorrhages consist of blood leakage from one or multiple breaks in a blood vessel that lies between the white of the eye and its clear covering. These breakages are common and can occur from a very minor injury to the eye. Typically painless, they can be limited to a small segment of the eye or extend over the entire eye.

Treatment is not required for subconjunctival hemorrhages, these injuries do not cause discomfort or permanent damage. The blood will clear on its own over the course of a couple of weeks.

These are only 3 of the many common eye injuries that individuals suffer from on a daily basis. Ultimately, the goal is to avoid any type of injury however mild it may be. To assist with this goal, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has come up with some useful tips to promote eye safety in your everyday life:

  • Check for any excess rocks or debris before all yard work, wear goggles if possible
  • Wear eye protection when using bungee cords, these are a common cause of severe eye injuries
  • Avoid buying children toys with sharp edges
  • Use caution with household chemicals, they can burn your eye’s delicate tissue
  • Always wear eye protection when participating in sports
  • Wear sunglasses when spending extended periods of time in the sun
  • Turn nozzles away from your face before spraying
  • Always wash hands after using household chemicals
  • Be careful when opening bottles of wine or carbonated drinks
  • Protect your eyes while using digital screens by taking frequent breaks

Taking proper precautions is crucial to avoid any potential injuries. However, there is always the possibility that one can occur. Knowing what to do when you have an eye injury can save you from vision loss or other forms of permanent damage.

If you find yourself with an eye injury, contact your eye care professional immediately for advice. You should treat all eye injuries like an emergency, do not hesitate to contact your doctor with any concerns. You only have one pair of eyes so make sure you are doing everything you can to take care of them!

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