According to a national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only 35 percent of respondents said they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance; even fewer do so while playing sports. As such, AAO has named April Eye Safety Month to help increase public awareness of wearing protective eyewear when participating in team sports.
According to the AAO:
- Men are more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
- Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in the course of work at factories and construction sites. But, in fact, nearly half (44.7 percent) of all eye injuries occurred in the home, as reported during the fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot (conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma).
- More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
- More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
- Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
- Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.
Studies have shown that more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented, simply by wearing the right protective eyewear. Specific eyewear is available for just about any activity—the experts at the Emory Eye Center can recommend the appropriate eyewear for your sport and make sure you have the right fit. If you’ve suffered an eye injury, be sure to have an ophthalmologist examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor.
Protecting your eyes from injury will go a long way toward maintaining healthy vision throughout your life.