Protection of your eyes and vision is your own responsibility, because taking some prevention and periodic eye exams can save you from eye or vision injuries. But how to take care of our eyes and vision?
The American Optometric Association, with a mission of improving the quality and availability of eye and vision care provides the answer:
According to a report from The American Optometric Association with proper eye protection and increased public awareness, the incidence of eye injuries could be significantly reduced.
"Studies have shown that serious eye injuries around the home outnumber those from industry 3-to-1. People are exposed to strong chemicals in cleaning products and garden chemicals, and are exposed to high-energy hazards while working in a home workshop or yard. Lawn mowers, weed-eaters, leaf blowers, and other lawn care devices all can propel flying particles toward the eyes and cause a severe eye injury.
In addition, it has been estimated that over 100,000 eye injuries occur each year in sports and recreational activities. Basketball, baseball, and racquet sports lead the way due to the high-energy aspects of the sports and the large number of participants nationwide.
Types of Eyewear
Dress Frames and Lenses:
Dress frames and lenses do not provide adequate eye protection. Normal frames can easily break or deform when hit and may be driven into the eye. Additionally, glass and standard plastic lenses can shatter with low energy impacts. Polycarbonate and Trivex™ material lenses are extremely impact resistant, so they are recommended for maximum eye protection. The AOA's Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend polycarbonate or Trivex™ material lenses for all children and for those individuals with good vision in only one eye.
Safety Glasses and Side Shields:
Safety glasses for general use in industry must pass higher standards than dress frames and lenses in order to provide increased protection. Safety glasses should also be used for additional protection in at-risk activities around the home. The use of side shields with safety glasses offers even more protection. Non-prescription safety glasses are also available which can fitover prescription glasses. Discuss your work and home eye safety requirements with your optometrist.
Sports Eye Protectors:
One of the fastest growing segments of the eyecare industry has been eyewear designed specifically to protect the eyes during sports.
The speed of balls, racquets and other materials used in sports requires that sports eye protectors pass rigorous standards. Protectors for racquetball, for example, must be able to withstand a direct blow from a swinging racquet. The Association for Standards Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets standards for sports eye protectors for many sports. It is important to obtain the protector that has been tested for the sport you are playing. Check the packaging or "hang-tag" to see if your sports eye protector is ASTM approved.
Fortunately, coaches, parents and players now realize that wearing protective eyewear for sports reduces, or eliminates, the risk of eye damage. Dress eyewear should never be worn in sports where an impact to the face is possible. Sports protective eyewear is available in prescription form to meet both vision and safety needs. Ask your optometrist which protectors are recommended for the sports in which you participate.
Who should wear eye protection?
Everyone requires eye protection at one time or another. Individuals with good vision in only one eye are at special risk and should wear eye protection at all times. All children who wear glasses should have polycarbonate or Trivex™ material lenses. Below are examples of activities that require eye protection:
- Working with power tools, lawnmowers, and power trimmers
- Working with hazardous chemicals and caustic materials
- Securing elastic "bungee" cords
- Hammering, drilling, or grinding
- Riding a motorcycle, ATV, or bicycle
- Hunting or fishing
- Participating in at-risk sports
Eye injuries can happen to anyone, but most injuries are preventable. Minimize your risk. Discuss your eye safety options with your optometrist.
Link to the article: eye protection
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