Though July is normally associated with Independence Day, the month is also designated as Eye Injury Prevention Month. For older adults, poor eyesight is often a problem that requires prescription glasses and an eye injury has the potential to cause serious, life-altering trauma. In honor of Eye Injury Prevention Month, let’s spend some time focusing on protection and prevention.
Every day, an estimated 2,000 Americans suffer eye injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 70% of those eye injuries are caused by falling or flying objects, or foreign objects striking the eye.
Protection is Key
The best way to prevent eye injury is to practice prevention and use protection. Some of the best protection tips for seniors are:
Invest in Protective Eyewear
Protective eye goggles or glasses are the single most effective tool to help seniors avoid eye injury. Though adults over the age of 65 are likely retired from the workplace, protective eyewear is just as important around the house. Mowing the lawn, for example, is a household chore that requires eye protection. Sticks, rocks and other lawn debris are commonly flung from underneath the lawnmower and straight into the eyes of an operator.
Shield Harmful UV Light
Did you know that the human eye can suffer sunburn? The sun’s UV rays are extremely harmful to the eyes. If the eyes are sunburned, seniors suffer an increased risk of developing cataracts or, in extreme cases, blindness can occur. In order to protect the eyes, seniors should always wear sunglasses that are made to provide UV protection.
In the Event of an Eye Injury
For older adults or senior caregivers, time is of the essence when dealing with an eye injury. Should an eye (or both eyes) become injured, seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of a serious eye injury include:
- Isolated pain and/or vision problems
- A visible cut on the eyelid
- One eye no longer moves like the other
- One eye protrudes or sticks out further than the other
- Pupil shape and/or size is abnormal
- Specks of blood seen in the whites of the eye
- A foreign body can be seen imbedded in the eye
- A foreign body under the eyelid that cannot be wiped away or flushed out
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