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Eye and Vision Care

Keeping Eyes Healthy and Safe Prevents Serious Accidents

Data Shows the Home Can be the Most Dangerous Place for Eyes
 
Of the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur annually, almost half of those happen at home.  According to the most recent data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT), more than 30 percent of all home eye injuries required emergency room care.  And, the AAO states that eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States. Fortunately, 90 percent of all eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear. 
 
The most common eye injuries occur when doing lawn work, kitchen projects or when using harsh chemicals. Flying debris or nails were the cause of most eye injuries with blunt objects, such as construction hand tools or hardware a close second.  The most common eye injuries are abrasions, lacerations or other eye irritations.
 
When starting any project, whether it is cleaning surfaces with chemicals, working on the car or doing yard work, Prevent Blindness America urges everyone to wear eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  The eyewear should have the "Z-87" logo stamped on the frames and can be purchased at hardware stores and home building centers.
 
 
Poor Vision and Falls
 
Poor vision can also contribute to other accidents around the home. Age-related eye diseases increase the likelihood that older adults will experience debilitating and life threatening falls. Ohio adults age 65+ who have an age-related eye disease were 50% more likely to have experienced a fall than persons of the same age without an eye disease according to the Ohio Department of Health's 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Of those who fall, 20 to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently. Prevention of vision loss in older Americans can reduce the risk of falls and hip fractures and the associated economic and social costs. The United States Centers for Disease Control lists "having yearly eye exams" for older Americans among its recommended falls prevention strategies. 
 
 
Below are five ways you can reduce your risk of fall: 
 
You, like many others, may think that you are safest at home, making it easy to be unconcerned about eye protection while doing basic chores or tasks in familiar surroundings. However, your eyes are not out of danger just because an accident has not happened before. Make sure that you are getting vision screenings and professional eye exams to insure that the cause of a fall isn't poor vision.  By paying special attention to protecting our eyes today, you may be able to prevent potentially blinding injuries in the future.

And - know what to do for an eye emergency. This can save valuable time and possibly prevent vision loss.  Keep a copy of First Aid for Eye Emergencies in your medicine cabinet.  For additional resources, visit or call Prevent Blindness Ohio at 800-301-2020.
 
 
This article is based on information provided by Prevent Blindness Ohio and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.
 

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Last Reviewed: Dec 20, 2010