Why You Should Wear Protective Eyewear

9:19 AM, Mar 26, 2018

Nearly a million Americans have lost eyesight due to an eye injury, and experts estimate most incidents could have been avoided by wearing protective eyewear like safety glasses or goggles.

For example, of the 40,000 serious sports-related eye injuries, 90 percent were preventable, according to the American Optometric Association.

To protect our eyes from injuries, enhance vision and improve performance, most people should be wearing protective eyewear, says Dr. Marcus Kelley of Montana Eyecare. Just as wearing helmets has become the norm while riding bicycles, he says, eye protection should be a natural part of many activities, especially when children are participating.

Dr. Kelley recommends protective eyewear in these 6 situations:

1. During any athletic activities involving a flying object, like a ball, puck or birdie. Racquet sports like tennis and badminton appear tame on the surface, but the objects being hit move at rapid speeds. A racquetball can travel at up to 200 miles per hour during a game. Moreover, racquets themselves can do damage to eyes if accidentally swung toward the face.

2. On the job when dust, chemicals, flying shards or radiation are present. It’s estimated that roughly half of workplace eye injuries could be completely prevented by wearing goggles, helmets, face shields or just safety glasses. In many cases, state law requires that workers in these situations wear protective eyewear, but the rules are often ignored.

3. While doing home repair. Flying nails, splinters, metal shards and sawdust all pose a threat to eyes. Anyone working around the house should don a pair of safety goggles, no matter how mundane the task may seem.

4. In the yard, too. What could be less dangerous than gardening, right? Yet people have been hurt when buried rocks and twigs have been spewed out by their lawnmower, weed eater or rototiller. Dirt, branches and leaves also pose a threat to eyes, so always wear eyewear when doing yardwork.

5. Around chemicals, including paint. Paint, primer and turpentine are hazards when around unprotected eyes, the same as toxic chemicals like bleach and drain cleaners. Eye protection is critical whenever working with chemicals.

6. During gun use, even if live ammo isn’t involved. Yes, you really can put your eye out when shooting blanks or playing paintball. You can even cause eye injury with water guns. Children should be wearing goggles during that seemingly harmless activity.

If eye injuries do occur, take these simple steps to reduce the severity, says Dr. Kelley:

• In the case of a chemical or soap splash, bathe the eye with clean water for 15 minutes. (Remember to remove contact lenses first.) Then call an eye doctor and have the eye checked out.

• Don’t take chances with a scratched eye, or an eye with a foreign body sensation. See an eye doctor immediately. Injuries like these significantly increase the risk of infection in the eye. Montana Eyecare has doctors available 24/7 at (406) 443-2121.

• Never remove an object that is stuck in the eye. See an eye doctor immediately. Be careful not to apply any pressure on the object before visiting a physician.

• Make sure to blink often when using a computer. Employ the 20/20/20 rule – for every 20 minutes of screen time, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Your eyes are the most important and delicate organ outside the body. Protect them from injury and care for them by visiting an eye doctor regularly. Call Montana Eyecare today at (406) 443-2121 or visit MontanaEyecare.com for more information.

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Helena, MT 59601
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At Montana Eyecare, our professional eye care staff will be happy to assist you with your vision needs.  We have treatment options available for everyone. Whether you are interested in making an appointment for a LASIK consultation, have cataracts, need an annual eye exam, or just need glasses, we can help!

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