When it comes to arts and crafts or household chores, we don’t often think about eye injuries. When we are cleaning or fixing things around the house, we usually assume that we are safe, because everyone feels more secure in their own home. While it might be easy to prevent arm or leg injuries at home, our eyes are a valuable and delicate part of us that needs to be protected.
Sometimes, we get something stuck in our eyes. Sometimes, we might be reaching up for something and trip or be hit by a falling object. Accidents happen but knowing how to keep your eyes safe is key to not only having a safer home, but also to maintaining your vision. In honor of Eye Injury Prevention Month and Home Eye Safety Month, Grand Parkway Emergency Center wants to discuss home eye injuries and how we can prevent them, treat them, and when to get help.
Preventing Household Injuries
We have all gotten hurt around the house before, but when we do, we rarely think about our eyes being in jeopardy. Our eyes, though, are a very sensitive part of our body that can be easily scratched and irritated in the wrong conditions. Eyes injuries, whether they are mild or severe, can contribute to long-term eye health. It makes protecting your and your children’s eyes so important.
Common household tasks can be unexpected risks, like mowing the lawn, using chemicals for cleaning or painting, cooking with hot oil, using power tools, and even gardening. Anytime there is a risk of getting something in your eye or having harsh substances or fumes near your eyes, there is a risk of injury. To minimize these risks, experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend the following tips:
- Do not mix cleaning products together and avoid being too close to harsh fumes of such products.
- Cushion sharp corners of household fixtured and furniture if you have young children or elderly family members in your home.
- Check the lawn and garden for any large pieces of debris that could become a hazard when working outside.
- Keep your tools clean, in good condition, and properly stored to ensure they work properly and do not run a risk of coming loose.
- Always keep spray nozzles pointed away from your face.
- Use grease and oil shields when cooking with high heat in the kitchen, when scalding splatter is a risk.
- Most importantly, keep at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear (they often look like goggles or glasses) for all home improvement, gardening, and even serious household cleaning projects.
The importance of protective eyewear cannot be stressed enough, as the American Academy of Ophthalmology has found that of the thousands of household eye injuries reported every year, only 35% of the injured patients were wearing protective eye wear. This shows that not enough houses have ANSI-approved (American National Standards Institute) eyewear for home projects, and that those who do use protective eyewear are less likely to be injured.
Treating Eye Injuries
Even when we do our best to take precautionary measures, injuries still happen. When it comes to our eyes, we need to make sure that all serious eye injuries are treated by a doctor. But, sometimes, you might not know if an eye injury is serious or if your regular doctor’s office can see you right away. In these scenarios, the following home-care steps are recommended to make sure you do not worsen an eye injury before seeing a doctor:
- No matter what kind of injury you have, do not rub, scratch, apply pressure, or put ointment on an injured eye!
- For cuts or punctures: do not rinse with water, do not remove any objects stuck in the eye, gently shield the eye while you get help, and do not take any anti-inflammatory drugs or pain killers.
- For something getting in your eye: try to lift your eyelid and see if your natural tears or basic eyedrops can flush the particles out. If you cannot get it out, then you need to seek medical help quickly.
- In cases involving chemicals in the eye: immediately flush the eye with clean water and seek medical treatment. Chemical burns and corrosive substances are very dangerous and require a doctor’s treatment to avoid long-term vision problems.
- For any bruises or accidental hits to the eye: gently apply a cold-compress, without applying pressure to the eye, and monitor the swelling. If swelling goes away quickly, then this might not be a severe injury, but if swelling is bad or persists, you need to seek medical care.
Household accidents don’t always happen during a primary care physician’s office hours, and sometimes they can even happen on holidays or weekends. In these cases, Grand Parkway Emergency Center, in partnership with Oak Bend Medical Center, is here to help. Our staff of board-certified doctors and nurses are always on-call to treat you and your family.
Our services can treat eye injuries and infections, so if you have suffered a household accident and need professional care, then Grand Parkway Emergency Center urges you to find emergency care. Our facility has minimal wait time and in-house diagnostics like an on-site laboratory and testing to make sure you get the best treatment fast.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, staff member at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Grand Parkway Emergency Center, A Department of OakBend Medical Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.