Split-second eye injury impacts a lifetime

Sept. 27, 2012 at 12:45 AM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of U.S. visual impairment, but only 35 percent wear protective eyewear when doing home projects.

Officials at the American Academy of Ophthalmology said more than half of the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur every year in the United States happen within or around the home when working with power tools, yard debris, cleaning fluids and chemicals.

"Eye injuries can happen in a split second but can have an impact on vision for the rest of our lives," Hugh R. Parry, president of Prevent Blindness America, said in a statement.

When performing household chores, Prevent Blindness America urges everyone to wear eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute, which has a "Z-87" logo stamped on the frames.

It also recommends to help prevent eye injuries at home:

-- Wear eye protection when doing automotive work, including changing the oil, jump-starting a dead battery, or even when using bungee cords to secure items to the roof.

-- Secure rugs, remove tripping hazards and provide effective lighting and handrails to improve safety on stairs and walkways to reduce the risk of falls.

-- Never mix cleaning agents. Read manufacturer instructions and warning labels, and always use these products in well-ventilated areas.

-- Wear safety glasses with side protection or dust goggles to protect against flying particles and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.

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