Now that spring is finally behaving like spring, you might find yourself spending more time outside! This is the time of year that we tend to our yards to get them in tip-top shape for summer. But, before you head out to do your seasonal spring and summer cleanup, read our article on the eye related dangers lurking in the backyard! Nobody wants to spend a beautiful summer day in a doctors office or emergency room due to a preventable eye injury or accident.
Common Spring & Summer Eye Injuries
As people start to come out from our winter hibernation and become more active outdoors, optometrists start to see an increase in eye injuries and accidents. Some of the more common eye injuries that we see due to spring and summer accidents are corneal abrasions, ocular foreign bodies, and eye injuries related to chemical use.
A corneal abrasion is a scratch that happens to the cornea (the front clear dome-shaped cover of the eye). Corneal abrasions are one of the most common types of eye injury that our optometrists treat during the spring and summer months. Corneal abrasions usually occur as a result of a foreign body coming into contact with the cornea and scratching it. The foreign body can be as big as a stick or as small as a grain of dirt. No matter the size of the object, any foreign body can cause a corneal injury. An injury to the cornea is usually very painful. It can cause the eye to tear and become light sensitive. Corneal abrasions can create an entry point for bacteria and infection to enter the eye. Therefore, it is important to seek urgent care from an optometrist or emergency department as soon as possible.
Ocular Foreign Bodies
A foreign body is an object that adheres to, becomes embedded within, or penetrates the tissue of the eye. Having a foreign body eye injury should almost always result in a visit to an optometrist or emergency room. Trying to remove the object yourself can result in more damage to the eye. Attempting to “rub” out smaller foreign bodies can cause corneal scratches and abrasions which can also cause a serious eye injury.
Metallic foreign bodies within the eyes can result in corneal scarring and can leave a rust ring. It is very important to have an optometrist remove and treat an eye injury from a metal foreign body as soon as possible!
Many people don’t think to wear safety eyewear when working with chemicals. There are many household and yard related chemicals that cause serious injury if they come into contact with your eyes. When working with cleaning solutions and lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, it is important to wear eyewear for protection. Splashing fluids and harsh chemical fumes can irritate eyes. In extreme situations, they can even cause permanent damage to delicate eye tissues. When handling chemicals it is also important to be cautious to not transfer the chemical to your eyes. Rubbing or touching your eyes with other body parts or objects which have also been in contact with the chemical can also result in an eye injury.
In the unfortunate event that your eyes come into contact with a chemical, follow the instructions on the chemical’s packaging on how to treat the eyes after chemical contact. It is also important to seek out care from an eye doctor or medical doctor.
Protect Your Eyes!
The best way to protect your eyes from common eye injuries is to wear eye protection. You don’t always need to wear a big pair of safety glasses (although those are the golden standard). Even a good pair of sunglasses will do! Sunglasses are not only great for protecting your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet rays. But, they are also good for keeping objects and chemicals from entering the eyes!
If you find you have sustained an eye injury, seek medical help. Our office takes emergency appointments during regular business hours. If after hours, please seek help from the nearest medical clinic or hospital. For all other routine examinations, you can make an appointment with one of our optometrists conveniently through our online appointment form!