Protecting Your Eyes from Accidental Injury

When most of us think about unintentional injuries we’re at risk of sustaining, we rarely think about harms that could come to our eyes. However, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, eye injuries occur more often than you’d think. Indeed, the source of such an injury can “come from anywhere,” and “there’s nearly no limit on the ways that particles, chemicals, foreign objects, or small fragments can enter—or injure—an eye.” Yet as the article points out, there are important ways to prevent eye injuries from taking place, and there are proper ways to handle an eye emergency if it does happen.2579766928_9a5b9063fd

Common Types of Eye Injuries

As the article points out, unintentional eye injuries can result from activities that most of us are unlikely to expect, including but not limited to:

  • Household cleaners;
  • Pool chemicals;
  • Grease from kitchen cooking;
  • Champagne bottle corks;
  • Curling irons;
  • Mascara wands;
  • Tree trimmings; and
  • Construction work debris (for passersby).

The list above is largely incomplete, as San Diego residents are at risk of sustaining a serious eye injury in many everyday activities, from walking near a construction zone to eating dinner at a local restaurant. And in many situations, someone else’s negligence is to blame. For instance, if proper safety measures aren’t taken at a construction area, debris can cause serious injuries to passersby, including eye injuries.

According to Dr. Sandy Felman, the medical director of San Diego’s Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center, eye injuries typically result from one of the following types of objects:

  • Blunt objects (such as fist or a ball);
  • Sharp objects (like a stick); or
  • Liquids (such as a splash from a chemical cleaner).

Each type of object can cause different kinds of harms to the eye, and many of them require treatment in an emergency department.

Preventing Common Eye Injuries

When we look at eye injuries from sports alone, we learn that these preventable injuries occur about 100,000 times every year, and a little less than half of those injuries lead to a visit to the emergency room. Of those injuries, around 13,500 people will go blind. And approximately one-third of all sports-related eye injuries are attributed to kids, typically from “high-risk sports such as baseball, basketball, martial arts, and hockey.”

How can you prevent serious eye injuries? The most important preventive measure is to wear protective eyewear anytime you’re playing a sport or engaging in an activity that could result in harm to your eye. Parents can buy “sports-specific goggles made of polycarbonate lenses,” which help to protect kids’ eyes while they’re on the field. And protective goggles are also extremely important when you’re doing any home cleaning or home improvement projects.

If you do suspect that you or someone you love has sustained an eye injury, you should seek medical attention. Signs of an eye injury commonly include:

  • Pain;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Red eye; and/or
  • Bleeding eye.

In short, if a person with a suspected eye injury has trouble seeing, cannot move her eye, has a pupil that looks misshapen, or has a noticeable foreign object or blood in the eye, see a medical professional. And if a chemical splashes in the eye, wash it immediately and then seek medical care.

Did you recently sustain an eye injury that resulted from another person’s carelessness? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

Photo Credit: db Photography | Demi-Brooke via Compfight cc

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