"Sight is the most important sense for me. Around 80 percent of the information from the outside that reaches our brains comes from our eyes. I’d feel the most crippled if I lost my sight more than any of the other senses." -Maricar Reyes, actress
What is more precious than our eyesight? Nothing can replace our vision. Imagine not being able to drive, read a book, watch your favorite TV program or see the faces of those you love. Unfortunately, vision loss occurs every day. Almost 2.5 million Americans suffer eye injuries each year, and nearly one million individuals lose some degree of vision as a result of that injury.
National Eye Injury Prevention Month was initiated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to remind Americans during the month of October that most eye injuries take place in the home (Source: All About Vision). Whether in the house, workshop, garden or garage, there are specific precautions that can be taken to protect your eyes from injury:
1. Wear protective eyewear when working or participating in sports. Safety goggles or safety glasses with side shields protect your eyes from airborne particles, chemicals or flying objects.
2. Be vigilant when using chemicals and cleaners. Carefully read labels before using, and do not mix products. Wear proper eye protection while using chemicals, and wash hands thoroughly before removing safety glasses and touching your eyes.
3. Use caution when cooking or using hot objects. Grease shields can be helpful to prevent splattering. Be sure to wait until pans have cooled to wash them or submerge them in water.
4. Eliminate hazards that may cause falls and put the eyes at risk. Cover sharp furniture edges and fireplace hearths with cushioning material. This can help prevent eye injury, especially for children or the elderly.
5. Put away any potentially hazardous objects like knives, scissors, wire coat hangers, bungee cords and fish hooks. A moment of carelessness could lead to serious consequences.
6. Never launch fireworks or explosives in your backyard. Leave that to the professionals. There were roughly 10,500 fireworks-related eye injuries in 2014 alone.
Remember, accidents happen. However, most eye injuries can be prevented, so take precautions to protect your eyes and the eyes of those you love. During October, make it your goal to examine areas of your home that may be unsafe or put your eyes at unnecessary risk. It might be the decision that keeps you and your loved ones seeing clearly!