A survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) highlighted a significant discrepancy between the perceived versus the actual danger of the home environment being a threat for eye injuries1. The survey determined that fewer than half of the respondents saw the home environment as a potential site for eye injuries, and those that did cited the garden and garage as the most dangerous places. In reality, however, each year it is estimated that 50 percent of all eye injuries occur in the home and most could have been prevented if proper eye protection had been worn2. Sadly, only 35 percent of people surveyed claimed to follow a practice of home eye safety by always wearing eye protection when it was needed.
Statistics show that there are several ways that people are at risk of eye injury in their homes. The AAO reported that 125,000 eye injuries occur each year due to accidents involving common household products, such as bleach and oven cleaner. Unprotected eyes are also at risk where there are things that move at high speed, such as debris from yard work, power tools or nails being hammered into hard surfaces and even champagne corks.
In the Eye Injury Snapshot3, key findings showed that certain home eye injuries are common amongst certain demographics:
- Three-quarters of those injured were male.
- The number of children under the age of 12 who suffered eye injuries had increased by 5 percent above the previous five-year survey average, representing one in five injuries.
- Accidental falls were reported to be the leading cause of home eye injury, especially in individuals 60 years of age and older4.
Many Eye Injuries Are Preventable
Eye injury prevention is the key to reducing the risk of injury and sight loss. The AAO and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) now recommend that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear for use during projects and activities that may present a risk of injury. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is manufactured to meet the American National Standards Institute eye protection standard.
But home eye safety is more than just wearing protective glasses. It is also about maintaining a safe home environment: ensuring that carpets and mats are secure; furniture is safe and stable; and that people are aware of the chemicals in their household products and are ensuring that they are handled with care.
Eye injuries can cause serious vision loss. While many eye injuries are obvious, where pain, light sensitivity, deformity, lacerations or burns are present, some are not. Delaying medical attention puts sight at risk. Once an injury occurs, it is important to respond by seeking immediate help from an eyecare professional. optomap technology can play a role in examining the retina of injured eyes.
In cases of suspected retinal damage, it is recommended that a comprehensive dilated eye examination including optomap, is conducted, especially in cases where a dilated fundus examination is not physically possible, particularly if the eye is too swollen or painful, or if the patient is a child. Utilizing the non-contact, non-mydriatic optomap image – which takes less than one-half second to capture – could facilitate easier access to the retina for a preliminary assessment to be made. Not only would this reduce any further trauma to the patient and their eye, but the 200˚ (82%) ultra-widefield optomap image has the potential to detect critical information which may expedite patient referral and treatment intervention, potentially increasing the chances of preventing sight loss.
To find an eye care professional near you who uses optomap technology, click here.
1-2. Eye Injuries at Home – March 2016:
3. Survey: Nearly Half of Eye Injuries Occur at Home – July 2009: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2009/07/07/Survey-Finds-Nearly-Half-of-Eye-Injuries-Occur-at-Home.aspx
4. Make Eye Injury Prevention A Priority – 2016: