The newsLINK Group - Preventing Eye Injuries

Editorial Library Category: Health Topics: Eye Injuries Title: Preventing Eye Injuries Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The website for the Casey Eye Institute in Oregon states that one million people suffer an eye injury every year, but that 90 percent of the injuries could have been prevented just by wearing the right kind of safety eyewear. Editorial: Preventing Eye Injuries 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 The website for the Casey Eye Institute in Oregon states that one million people suffer an eye injury every year, but that 90 percent of the injuries could have been prevented just by wearing the right kind of safety eyewear. More than 32,000 of those injuries are caused by people using household products at home. Nearly 40,000 people who play sports suffer an eye injury. More than 11,000 children suffer an eye injury after playing with a toy or while on a playground. Eye injuries at work affect more than 1,000 people every day. A hundred thousand of those injuries will cause temporary or permanent vision loss, leaving the injured person with a disability that might last the remainder of that person’s life. According to the website for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an article dated July 2013, about 2000 workers in the U.S. every day have a serious enough eye injury that they require medical treatment. About a third of these eye-related injury cases are treated in an emergency room; more than 100 of them end up causing the injured person to miss one or more days of work. Blindness creates an economic burden. How big a burden? According to the website for Prevent Blindness America, the cost this year is $139 billion. Some injuries are caused by accidents, and some are caused by infections. Accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Small objects or particles may abrade or strike the eye, for example, after being blown into the eye, falling into the eye, or being ejected by tools. The injury might be caused cement or wood chips, dust, or metal slivers. Sharp objects — long slivers of wood or metal, nails, or staples — sometimes blind workers by penetrating the eyeball. Blunt force trauma can occur when a worker runs into a large object, or when a large object strikes the worker in the eye or face. Chemical or thermal burns involving one or both eyes, either from cleaning products or from industrial chemicals, are another commonplace reason for injury. Thermal burns may occur as well. For welders, their assistants, and anyone who happens to be too close at the wrong time, UV radiation burns caused by welding (a source of injury called welder’s flash) are a real threat both to the eyes and to surrounding tissue. Eye injuries that happen because of infection are a reality for animal handlers, health care workers, janitors, people who work in laboratories and anyone else whose eyes are exposed regularly to infectious diseases. Exposure can occur when the eye’s mucous membranes come in contact with blood or other bodily fluids, such as respiratory droplets that are created when someone coughs or is being suctioned. It can also happen when someone whose fingers are contaminated then touches the eyes, or when something else (like an infected wash cloth or hand towel) touches the eyes. Sometimes infections are relatively minor; conjunctivitis, for example, or an eye that becomes sore and red for a little while, but then recovers quickly. Conjunctivitis comes in both bacterial and viral versions, but it usually goes away without treatment within seven to ten days. Other infectious diseases are more serious: avian influenza, B virus, or HIV are all possibilities. The best way to deal with an eye injury is obviously to prevent it from happening. That may mean protecting the eye area with one of the following: Face shields Full-face respirators Goggles Safety glasses The equipment someone chooses to protect the eye area depends on a number of factors. What kind of hazard is involved and how serious is it? Are there regulatory requirements?

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