Eye Safety

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Head ShotBBy Kevin A. Rogers, OD,
Rogers Regional Eye Center
What are some of the everyday dangers to our eyes? 
According to Prevent Blindness America, accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.  Ninety percent of these eye injuries can be prevented through understanding safety practices and the use of proper eye protection.  Eye injuries can be reduced or prevented by following simple steps of precaution:
• Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing and wear safety glasses or dust goggles to protect against flying particles, and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.
• Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, shafts, spikes, rods, and dangerous edges. 
• More than 40,000 people a year suffer eye injuries while playing sports.  Baseball, basketball and racquet sports are the most common sports-related eye injuries. Wear proper safety goggles for racquet sports and basketball. Use batting helmets for baseball.
What type of safety eye protection should I wear? 
That depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). Safety goggles should be worn if you are exposed to chemicals.  Welders are exposed to radiation and should use specially designed safety helmets with shields. One of the most important times to wear safety goggles is while doing yard work, such as mowing the lawn and weed-eating.