This time of year, eye specialists receive numerous patient calls, saying they have something in their eye. Many times, yard work is the main culprit for this issue. Many eye care specialists suggest wearing proper eye protection when working on outside projects, mowing, clearing leaves and brush or gardening. Something as small as a piece of grass can cause corneal scratching when done in the eye. This can lead to an infection, pain and vision changes. Remaining cautious will keep your eyes safe from similar scenarios, other fast-moving objects, and prevent general injuries.

Aside from yard work, countless people work in environments where eye protection is imperative. From construction workers to manufacturers to mechanics, the risk of something hitting or spilling into the eye is elevated. It is important to remember that while projectiles hitting the eye can cause pain and infection, chemical splashes can also cause serious injuries that result in permanent damage. Simply wearing safety glasses when in the workplace can prevent many common eye injuries.

Eye injuries are also a leading cause of vision loss in children. Many times, these injuries require trips to an emergency eye care doctor and are directly caused by sports activity. Talk to your children about eye safety and teach them to get into a good habit of protecting their eyes, especially when sports-related activities are involved. Ensuring your children play with age-appropriate toys that do not have sharp or protruding parts further decreases the chances for eye injuries that interrupt healthy development. The top example for your children is you; have them follow your good example of healthy vision habits.

Considering the importance of injury prevention practices, it is also helpful to know what constituents “safety glasses.” The American National Standards Institute outlines the required safety safety glasses must contain in a set of guidelines known as the ANSI Z87.1. After meeting ANSI Z87.1 standards, safety glasses are stamped with Z87 on all major components. People believe in a common misconception that wearing any set of glasses will automatically protect their eyes. However, the lenses in everyday landscapes are typically not Z87 certified. Polycarbonate lenses meet the requirements, but leave one component missing. The spectacle frame must also meet Z87 standards, meaning it can withstand an impact and keep the lenses in place without fracturing. Most dress eyewear does not meet this standard. The final component is the presence of side shields, which prevent indirect crime. Applied to many frames they will not supply sufficient protection unless they are too Z87 certified.

No matter how well you prepare, some visits to the eye care doctor can not be ignored; accidents may still happen. But never fear; quality eye care specialists will be happy to treat your eye injuries and supply you with additional prevention tips for the future.