When you watch the home renovation shows on HGTV, do you notice anything consistent about the host and contractors when they are working?
Besides making a kitchen cabinet replacement project look easy, they also are wearing eye protection.
More than half of all eye injuries in the United States happen at home, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. That's because only 3 in 10 wear protective goggles while working around the house.
The doctors at VisionQuest Eyecare point out that wearing approved eye protection can reduce the chance of injury by 90 percent while handling cleaning chemicals, trimming your law or using a table saw.
The risk also is higher for adults or children who are standing by watching the work.
Your regular eyewear or sunglasses alone are not necessarily very protective either. The website YourSightMatters.com recommends investing in quality safety goggles made of polycarbonate lenses. They are best because they are lightweight but resist scratches and breakage on impact. Goggles or glasses should fit snugly to your face and not have gaps where dust and debris can get into your eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends ANSI-approved protective eyewear, which meets the safety standards of the American National Standards Institute.
Potential Eye Injury Situations
Home activities that can injure your eyes include:
Cleaning. Bleach in household cleaning products causes 125,000 eye injuries each year.
Home Improvement. Screws, nails and hand tools can launch into the air—and into your eyes. Power tools can also send wood chips or other substances flying into the air.
Yard Work. Lawnmowers, trimmers and even shovels can throw dirt and debris into the air. Branches, twigs and thorns can also be dangerous.
Threats to Eye Safety at Home
Here are places and situations throughout your home where you need to protect your eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
In the house
- Using dangerous chemicals such as oven cleaner and bleach. Read the labels of chemicals and cleaners carefully, and don’t mix products.
- Cooking foods can that can splatter hot grease or oil. Use grease shields on frying pans to protect yourself from splattering.
- Opening champagne bottles during a celebration. Wrap a towel or cloth around the top of the bottle while unscrewing it to “catch” the cork. Never point a champagne bottle towards another person or yourself when opening it.
- Drilling or hammering screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces like brick or cement. The screws or nails can fly into the air, or fragments can come off the surface.
- Using hot objects such as curling irons around your face. Contact with your eyes can cause serious injury.
- Falling or slipping on loose rugs and railings. Secure rugs with a non-slip pad underneath. Check to make sure railings are secure and not loose. Put padding on sharp corners and edges if you have children or the elderly in your house.
In the Yard
- Mowing the lawn. Check the lawn or the outdoor area first for sticks, rocks or other items that can fly out from under the mower.
- Using a power trimmer or edger.
- Clipping hedges and bushes.
- Playing sports.
- Working In the garage or workshop
- Using power or hand tools. Keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced.
- Working with solvents or other chemicals. Make sure that all spray nozzles are directed away from you.
- Doing anything that can cause fragments or dust particles to fly around in the air.
- Using bungee cords, which are a serious danger to eyes when they snap back.
Following these rules of safety will help keep your eyes free from injury and on to that next project.
If you suffer an eye injury, seek immediate care at an emergency room or urgent care center, and then schedule your follow-up exam at VisionQuest Eyecare.