NJ doctor’s tips for avoiding common, dangerous eye injuries
About 2.4 million people injure their eyes every year in the country, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Of these injuries, 125,000 of them involve common household products, making eye injuries a serious threat at home.
Dr. Joseph Calderone, of Better Vision New Jersey in Cranford, said up to 40% of eye injuries occur in the home with or without household products. He said freak injuries happen and children get hurt during recreational sports.
But he said so many eye injuries are preventable either by avoiding horseplay or by wearing protective goggles. Anytime there is a risk for flying debris by using power tools such as drills, circular saws, lawnmowers, nail guns, power washers or when working with pool chemicals, safety goggles are the key, said Calderone.
"It's amazing how elbows, knees, heads, fists and fingers find their way into people's eyes during horseplay. You want to feel real stupid? Injure yourself, especially your eye during horseplay," said Calderone.
Kids should also be kept out of harm's way. For example, Calderone said if the kids want to play in the snow after a storm, they should wait until after mom or dad stop using the snow blower so nothing flies into their eyes.
He said if a person does sustain an eye injury, the simple answer is to go to the eye doctor, especially or someone feels a change in vision, swelling in the eye, double vision, a laceration or cut of the eyelid, a foreign body sensation in the eye or a change in the shape of the pupil, blood in front of the pupil, significant eye pain or a headache following a eye injury.
Some eye injuries can be treated at home. Calderone said if there is a foreign body sensation or if a chemical splashes into the eye, it's definitely a good idea to rinse the eye for a good ten minutes as standard first aid.
He also said ice is great for any blunt injury.
"Ice, ice, ice. You can't overdose on ice," said Calderone. Basically, assess the situation and go to the eye doctor. Don't wait thinking the injury will just go away.
Calderone said the bottom line is be smart. Stay out of harm's way. Wear safety goggles and you may just get through life without an injury.
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