Thousands of eye accidents happen each day, and according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), nearly half of all eye injuries occur in the home. Did you know that wearing protective eye wear could have prevented 90% of eye injuries?

October is Eye Injury Prevention Month. Whether you are tackling a home improvement project or enjoying some fun in the sun, take these steps to protect your eyes from both injury and sun damage:

  1. Wear safety glasses when doing anything that could cause something to splash or fly into your eye. This includes working with chemicals and cleaners, using power tools, doing yard work, and performing construction or home improvement projects.
  2. Wear sunglasses or UV-protective sports goggles. Over time, the sun’s harmful UV rays can increase your risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Look for shades that block out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  3. Let the professionals handle fireworks and be careful with that champagne bottle. Never look directly at a firework or any explosive or projectile device, including bottle corks. They can discharge unexpectedly and damage your eye.
  4. Protect your eyes when playing sports. The AAO also reports that more than 40 percent of eye injuries each year are related to sports or recreation activities yet very few people wear proper sports goggles to protect their vision.

Eye injuries are considered emergencies. If you or a family member sustains an eye injury, even if you think it is minor, see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Injuries that penetrate the eye can cause severe problems, including retinal detachment, infection and vision loss. They require immediate treatment to protect your vision. You can learn more about penetrating ocular trauma here.