Eye Injury and Blindness
Our eyes are very valuable. Therefore, we must protect them from eye injuries that could lead to blindness. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open”, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Injury to any part of the eye optic nerve, or a part of the brain connected to your vision can result in blindness. Eye injuries, whether physical or chemical, is one of the major cause of blindness. Eye injuries can range from getting a benign and removable substance in the eye to permanent vision loss. Not wearing eye protection or wearing the wrong type of eye protection are the most common contributing factors of the eye while on the job. Both are preventable when you are proactive and prepared.
Eye Injuries Key Facts
- Approximately one million people per year are affected by an eye injury. Ninety percent of these injuries are preventable with the use of appropriate protective eyewear.
- More than 600,000 sports-specific eye injuries occur each year, and approximately one-third of these injuries occur in children. Basketball and baseball cause the most eye injuries, followed by water sports and racquets.
- Eye injuries continue to afflict the American workforce. The average number of injuries is approximately 2,000 per day. More than one in 10 missed workdays and 10-20 percent resulting in temporary or permanent vision loss
- Eye injuries make up nearly 45% of all head injuries that lead to missed workdays.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment, and worker compensation.
- Men ages 25-44 comprise 80% of all workplace eye injury victims.
- 40% of on-the-job eye injuries happen in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries.
- Bureau of Labor reported that 70% of the accidents resulted from flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye.
- Eye injuries make up nearly 45% of all head injuries that lead to missed workdays, and men ages 25-44 comprise 80% of all workplace eye injury victims.
- 61 percent of eye injuries occur in manufacturing, construction, or trade jobs. Eye injuries also happen in offices, hospitals, laboratories, and many other types of workplaces.
(Sources: Illinoiseye.com and HexArmor)
What you can do to prevent an eye injury
The most common contributing factors of eye injuries are not wearing eye protection or wearing the wrong type of eye protection, generally while on the job. Both of these instances are entirely preventable when you are proactive and prepared. Here are some ways you can prevent eye injury at work or home:
- Always wear the proper form of eye protection before starting a project, task, engaging in sports activities, or attending an event where there are fireworks or other activities that could result in an eye injury.
- Warn others when you see a potential for eye injury.
- Always be alert when removing eye protection because dust and particles on your protective gear can get into your eyes causing eye irritation and injury.
Eye injuries can be very scary. You mustn’t touch, rub or apply pressure to the injured eye. Some common eye injuries, such as deep puncture wounds from accidents, may require immediate treatment or surgery to prevent permanent eye damage resulting in vision loss or blindness. Seek medical attention immediately If you experience an eye injury.