How to reduce your risk of eye injury

by MikeMeehan 7/11/2018 11:28 AM

Keeping your eyes safe from hazards only requires a few steps. Whether going for a swim or doing chores around the house, remember to keep your eyes protected. You will reduce your risk of eye injury by 90 percent if you wear protective eyewear. Protect your eyes You may already be required to wear safety protection at work, like safety glasses or face shields, but remember when you’re working at home, you need that protection, too. Some house chores that could be hazardous to your eyes include home repairs, yard work and cleaning with chemicals.  Home repairs. If you’re using a power tool, were eye protection. Using a hammer and nails or other tools can create an environment where those items can become projectiles. Yard work. Lawn mowers, trimmers and blowers can propel debris or other materials into your eyes. Safety glasses can also provide protection from branches and twigs that can be hazardous. Cleaning with chemicals. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, chemicals in cleaning products, like bleach, cause 125,000 eye injuries a year. At work, or when working at home, consider safety glasses with side shields, face shields, goggles with ventilation, and other variations when deciding what gear best fits with your task. The fit of your protective eyewear is important for its effectiveness.  If you already wear glasses, those glasses aren’t enough to protect you. When choosing protective eyewear, look for the appropriate kind for your activity.  Are you protecting your eyes when you play sports? For sports, the National Eye Institute created a chart to find the right eye protection for a list of sports. There are many varieties of sports goggles, all specially designed for certain sports. And not only will the sports eyewear protect, they can advance and improve the performance of the athlete.  Basketball, baseball and racquet sports can have the most potential for eye injury. According to an article on AllAboutVision.com, the amount of sports-related eye injuries reported in emergency rooms are over 40,000 every year. But most of these injuries are preventable with protective eyewear. With sports, we may think of flying objects as the hazard, but eye injuries can be a result of an elbow or finger in a close contact sport.  Too much chlorine could hurt your eyes This summer, if you and your family are spending time at the pool, think about your eyes. The chlorine in the pool is protecting us from bacteria, but pools with too much chlorine can cause damage to the surface of your eyes. Chlorine can cause eyes to become red and itchy because it washes away the tear film on the surface of eyes. Tear film is the thin layer that keeps your eyes moist and smooth. Wearing swim goggles might be the best way to protect your eyes and your kids’ eyes. Washing your face and eyes with fresh water after a swim and using eye drops are some other things you can do combat the effects of chlorine on eyes. 

At Work? Think About Your Eyes

by MikeMeehan 3/28/2018 2:34 PM

Eye injuries at work are very common, according to the American Optometric Association. But most of these injuries can be prevented with the proper eye protection and with raised awareness. Depending on your occupation, there are workplace eye safety precautions to take. Eye injuries at the workplace happen for two main reasons – you were not wearing any eye protection or you were wearing the wrong type of eye protection for the job at hand. Consider these potential hazards at your workplace: Projectiles or particles like bits of wood and metal that could fall or fly into your eye Chemicals that could splash into your eyes or create fumes Radiation exposure like UV, infrared and lasers Oil or grease that could splash into your eyes Bloodborne pathogens Then take these steps to prevent an eye injury: Assess your workplace and look for possible eye safety hazards If possible, remove or reduce the eye hazard Wear appropriate eye safety gear like safety glasses, goggles and face shields Regularly inspect your eye safety gear to be sure it’s still effective and not damaged Blue light at work Another eye hazard at work is blue light from your computer screen. If you have prolonged exposure to digital devices, you could be susceptible to Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome. If you spend more than two hours a day in front of the computer, you have a 90% chance of developing this vision problem. To prevent digital eye strain at work, use the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. For Workplace Eye Wellness Month, Prevent Blindness America reminds all employees to have regular comprehensive eye exams to be sure they have sufficient vision in order to do their jobs safely.

Tips for The Eclipse… Here’s How to Protect Your Eyes

by MikeMeehan 8/16/2017 9:59 AM

After much anticipation, the solar eclipse is just days away! We want you and your family to enjoy this special event while also being safe and protecting your eyes. There is a lot of information out there about the eclipse, viewing the eclipse and other related information. As your vision benefits provider, we’re going to focus on a few solar eclipse facts and tips to make sure you keep your eyes protected. Some of us are lucky to be in the direct path for total eclipse viewing. This is also called the path of totality. Depending on your location, your viewing instructions differ. See more information below. Facts about viewing a solar eclipse Total eclipse – If you’re in the path of totality, you will be able to see a total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun, for about two to three minutes. Eclipse blindness – Looking at the solar eclipse without eye protection can cause retinal burns, also called solar retinopathy or “eclipse blindness.” Damage – If you expose your eyes to the sun without protection, it can cause permanent or temporary damage to the cells in your retina. Be aware it could take hours or days to realize you damaged your eyes. Eye symptoms – Other symptoms you can experience if you view the eclipse without eye protection are distorted vision and altered color vision. Contact your eye care professional if you notice any of these symptoms. Tips for viewing a solar eclipse The American Astronomical Society listed useful instructions for viewing the eclipse. Here’s a summary: Inspect – Check the condition of your solar filter; it should be free from any scratches and punctures. If there is any damage, don’t use it. Follow instructions – Read and follow the instructions on your solar filter or on the package. Supervise – Always supervise children using solar filters, whether using eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Eyeglasses – If you wear eyeglasses, keep them on and put the eclipse glasses over them or use a handheld viewer in front of them. Don’t remove filter or glasses – Before looking up at the sun, stand still and cover your eyes with eclipse glasses or a solar filter. After viewing, look away from the sun and then remove your glasses or filter. Don’t remove your eclipse glasses or solar filter while looking up at the sun. In other words, be mindful and cautious. In path – If you’re lucky and can view the eclipse in the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon is covering the sun completely. You’ll be able to see a total solar eclipse for a short time, but as soon as the sun starts to reappear, make sure to use your eclipse glasses or solar filter for the rest of the time. It’s not safe to look at the sun without eye protection. Outside of path – If you’re viewing outside the path of totality, use your safe solar filter during the entire event. No cameras – It’s recommended to get expert advice if you want to use a camera or telescope during the solar eclipse. Do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope or other devices even while wearing eclipse glasses or using a solar filter. Looking towards the sun or at the solar eclipse without eye protection can cause permanent damage to your vision. We want you to experience this exciting and unique event, but please be safe and protect your eyes. For any medical questions concerning your eyes and vision, please contact your eye doctor. For more information and additional resources: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/safe-viewing https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/solar-eclipse-eye-safety http://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/experts-give-safety-tips-on-proper-way-to-view-aug-21-solar-eclipse-1-1/  

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