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Protect your vision with these eye-opening eye safety strategies.

You may not give your eyes a second thought most days. But you should. Your eyes are your windows to the world and you should do everything you can to protect them.

Approximately 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. They happen at work, at home and on the playing field. It is estimated that over 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

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“A common cause of eye injury in younger children is due to running with objects in their hands.It is especially important to protect the eyes of children who already have eye disease or vision problems. Your pediatrician may recommend avoiding certain sports depending on the degree of the vision problem.  

Routine eye exams are also important. In my office, I routinely screen my patients around 1 year of age with a device called Pediavison. If any abnormalities, they are then referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist.  If normal, I screen again using a picture chart around preschool age to ensure no vision problems have developed.”

 -Christina H. Holmes, MD, FAAP, Pediatric Medicine

Don’t wait until you suffer a devastating eye injury before you do something to protect your eyes. Start today by keeping these 5 tips in mind when you engage in activities that can harm your eyes:
  1. Use sport-specific eyewear. One of the most common sources of eye injuries in children and young adults is sports. People of all ages should wear sport-specific eyewear, such as safety glasses, goggles and eye guards made with polycarbonate lenses. Sports that result in the most eye injuries include baseball, softball, football, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer and racquet sports.
  2. Protect your eyes at work. Protective eyewear should be worn when operating machinery, working with tools and chemicals or in specific workplace conditions. The most common sources of eye injury at work include flying objects, air-blown particles, tools, chemicals and radiation.
  3. Keep eyes safer at home. Don’t forget to wear protective eyewear when doing yardwork, making household repairs, painting or using cleaners and chemicals. Be cautious when using cosmetic applicators near your eyes.
  4. Select toys carefully. Buy age-appropriate toys and avoid toys with hard or sharp edges. Don’t allow kids to play with items that can be used as a projectile, such as darts. Also keep kids away from pellet and BB guns, as well as fireworks.  Even sparklers can cause eye injury.
  5. Wear sunglasses. Your eyes can be damaged by the sun. Choose glasses that block both UVA and UVB rays to better protect eyes from radiation. Never look directly at the sun.

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Date Last Reviewed: February 15, 2019

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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