Eye Injury Prevention

Accidental eye injury is the leading cause of visual impairment in the United States.

More than 1 million people suffer from eye injuries each year in the United States. Ninety percent of these injuries could have been prevented if the individual had been wearing appropriate protective eyewear (preferably, with polycarbonate lenses).

Tips to Prevent Eye Injuries

  • In the house: When using household chemicals, read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area, and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness.
  • In the workshop: Think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes, dust particles, sparks, ultraviolet and infrared radiation, and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.
  • In the garden: Put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger, and be sure to check for rocks and stones as they can become dangerous projectiles if picked up from these machines.
  • In the workplace: Wear appropriate safety eyewear for your job. Many who suffer eye injuries each day don’t think they need eye protection so they don’t have appropriate eyewear for the job.
  • Around the car: Battery acid, sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jumpstarted auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies as well as everyday repairs.

Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting your eyes from injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention promptly.

© 2007 American Academy of Ophthalmology®