President Obama setting the right example by wearing safety glasses.
Eye injuries are extremely common in the United States; each year 2.5 million eye injuries occur, with 50,000 of them leading to partial or full vision loss. The unfortunate fact about these injuries is that roughly 90% of them could have been prevented by wearing eye protection. There is a common misperception that eye injuries happen “somewhere else”, in industrial environments or sport accidents, while the truth is nearly half of eye injuries happen at home.
So what is the top cause of eye injury? The American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) tracks eye injuries annually and ranks projectiles as the number 1 cause of injury. Wearing ANSII rated safety glasses can prevent nearly all of these types of accidents from happening. So during what home activities should you wear safety glasses?
- Using a sledgehammer: Last week I was working with my father and he almost took an eye out while removing concrete. Anytime you are using a sledgehammer while remodeling or working outside, there is a chance that the impact will cause a small piece of the object you are hitting to become airborne. Always wear safety glasses to prevent an eye injury from this kind of projectile.
- Woodworking and using power tools: While cutting or working with wood it is important to wear safety glasses. Saw dust or small wood fragments can irritate or hit the eye, and safety glasses can easily prevent this type of injury.
- Working under a car or pipes: Anytime you have to look up at what you are working on, you should wear safety glasses. It is very easy for dirt or debris to fall down into your eye causing an injury that could be prevented by safety goggles.
- Mowing the Lawn: This may not seem like an activity to wear glasses on, but you never know when you might run over a piece of debris that can create a projectile.
Interestingly, most people believe fireworks are a common cause of eye injuries. In reality, less than 1 percent of eye injuries are caused by fireworks.
Only half of people surveyed by ASOT reported that they wore safety glasses while doing home or yard maintenance tasks. Do your eyes a favor, be safe, and get yourself a good pair of safety glasses.
For more reading about eye injuries, you can visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology.