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Hart Health Hints for October: Prevent eye injuries

October is famous for many things—trick-or-treat, bobbing for apples, and brilliantly colored falling leaves (in some areas of the country), but did you know that it is also Eye Injury Prevention month?

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According to the CDC, approximately 2000 workers in the US sustain an eye injury requiring medical attention each day. Each year over 100,000 eye injuries occur while engaging in sports and every 13 minutes someone goes to the emergency room for an eye injury. Many of these injuries are in children and yet it is estimated that more than 90% of these injuries could have been prevented with the use of protective eyewear.

Protective eyewear should be tailored to your activity and are often differentiated by home protection, work protection, and sport protection, which each have different ANSI-approved standards for the expected level of impact or injury. Each of these types is described in more detail here.

Aside from impacts or foreign body injuries, UV damage from inadequate eye protection can be a serious risk for developing cancer (including melanomas) or other growths on the eye, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

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If you or a family member does sustain an eye injury, here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  First, it is important to understand that serious eye injuries are not always obvious, but can cause serious vision loss.  Some signs of an eye injury include:

  • Obvious pain or trouble seeing
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • Asymmetrical eye movements or protrusion
  • Unusual pupil size or shape
  • Blood in the eye
  • Something under the eyelid that can’t be removed

If you suspect any injury, have an ophthalmologist, or other medical doctor, examine the eye as soon as possible to determine the extent of the damage.  Don’t touch, rub, or apply pressure to the eye.  Additional tips for eye injuries can be found here.

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Wear your protective eyewear and have a happy October from your friends here at Hart Clinical Consulting!!

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