As we head outdoors for summer, we need to protect our eyes from the increased risk of injury that comes with the fun of the season.
The good news is: 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by the use of protective eyewear!
What risks for eye injury occur with summer?
- Sun: The sun can burn the cornea of the eye when a person spends many hours outside without sunglasses. This is a very painful condition, and so easy to prevent; wear sunglasses that protect from both UVA and UVB light. Styles that are close to the face and that wrap around offer the best protection, and adding in a rimmed hat or sun visor is the ideal. Polarized lenses prevent glare and offer a more comfortable view. Exposing your eyes to UVA/UVB light also contributes to the risk of developing cataracts later in life. Beach days, boating, riding a bike, gardening and going to outdoor events such as concerts or fairs are all examples of fun days that are potentially harmful to your eyes.
- Sports: Golf balls, fishing hooks, squash, tennis, baseball, and chemicals in pools can all lead to eye injury. ATV’s are also a potential hazard as they can kick up rocks and other small objects. Sports are the leading cause of eye injury for children ages 5-14. Wearing protective eyewear is an easy way to avoid these injuries, and swim goggles will effectively prevent eye irritation or injury from pools without the proper balance of chemicals.
- Fireworks: The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that 8,500 people are injured by fireworks every year. Be careful to keep your distance from fireworks. Additionally, keep a safe space between yourself and a campfire or bonfire, as the sparks can cause eye injury.
- Mowing the Lawn: Lawn mowers can send small twigs or pebbles into your eyes. Protective eyewear is essential to prevent this.
Enjoy your summer safely!