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Preventing Eye Injuries

Eye injuries affect about 2.5 million people every year. Household products cause more than 125,000 serious eye injuries. Hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 40,000 victims of eye injuries from sports. Below are tips for preventing injury to your eyes. 

Eye safety at home 

You can protect your eyes from injury at home by following these tips:

  • Make sure the edges of furnishing and home fixtures have no sharp edges.

  • Install lights and handrails to improve safety on stairs.

  • Be careful when opening bottles for wine or carbonated drinks.

  • Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents. Don’t mix cleaning agents.

  • Turn nozzles away from your face before spraying.

  • Wash your hands after using household chemicals.

  • Use guards on all power equipment.

  • Wear protective eye gear while using a lawnmower or weed trimmer, because debris may fly through the air. 

Eye safety outdoors and at play 

Follow these tips to help keep your eyes safe:

  • Wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays when you are outside. Wear them even on cloudy days. 

  • Never look directly at the sun, including during an eclipse.

  • Read and follow directions before playing games or using equipment.

  • Wear safety goggles or glasses during sports and leisure activities.

  • Wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield during high-impact sports.

  • Wear safety goggles while using a device that shoots pellets, arrows, paint balls, or other projectiles.

  • Wear safety goggles when handling fireworks. 

When to see a healthcare provider 

Go to an eye healthcare provider if you have any signs of eye problems. These may include:

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Excess tears

  • Tired, aching, or heavy eyelids

  • Eye pain

  • Problems with focusing

  • Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid

  • Frequent headaches

Seek medical care right away for any eye injury. Do not try to treat eye injuries on your own. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Haupert, Christopher L., MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2017
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.