Eye injuries may not be something that you give a great deal of thought to. However, they are surprisingly common. It is estimated that:
- 1,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace every day
- 125,000 eye injuries happen in the home every year
- 40,000 sports-related eye injuries take place each year
The good news is that as many as 90% of eye injuries are entirely preventable by wearing the correct safety eyewear. Safety eyewear offers you the best defense against eye injuries and can help to preserve the health and function of your eyes, and your eyesight, for as long as possible.
Examples of eye injuries
There are countless ways in which eyes can be injured at home, at work or during a sporting activity. However, there are some types of eye injuries that are more common than others. These include:
- Chemical or regular burns (think splashes or touching your eyes after using cleaning products, hair dyes, chlorine, weed killer, etc.)
- Blunt force trauma to the eye
- Sharp force trauma to the eye
- Foreign object in the eye
- Metal or wood splinters
- Flash injury that occurs when welding
- Injuries caused by fireworks
Meanwhile, sports-based eye injuries typically occur in basketball, water and pool activities and baseball/softball.
Types of safety eyewear
Fortunately, there are several different types of safety eyewear available. Exactly which is most suitable for you will depend on the activity you are taking part in. However, you can choose from:
- Safety glasses (including wrap-around styles)
- Face shields
- Side shields
It is important to note that all safety glasses should meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). To ensure that your protective eyewear meets this standard, check for the Z87 mark on the lens and/or frame.
If you usually rely on prescription lenses to enable you to see more clearly, it is possible to get some types of eyewear made to these specifications. This will eliminate your need to wear your regular glasses in addition to safety eyewear – something that can be impractical and uncomfortable.
The importance of UV protection
Many people don’t think of sunglasses as safety eyewear, but since it is also important to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation, we feel it is necessary to mention sunglasses. Exposure to the sun can eventually contribute towards the development of a range of eye problems including cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer that affects the tissues surrounding the eyes.
When you select your sunglasses, make sure you choose a variety that has been proven to be 100% effective in preventing UV light from reaching your eyes. In addition to actual sunglasses, it is now possible to purchase safety eyewear with polycarbonate lenses that also protects your eyes from the effects of harmful UV radiation. This is especially helpful if you work or participate in activities that take you outside.
If you would like more information on safety eyewear, or if you have further questions, our experienced and dedicated optical care team will be happy to help you. Please contact our offices to speak to us.