July is National Eye Injury Prevention Month

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than one million people suffer from eye injuries each year in the United States. Ninety percent of these injuries could have been prevented if the individual had been wearing appropriate protective eyewear.

In the house… when using household chemicals, read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness.

In the workshop…think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.

In the garden…put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines. Do not forget the risk to bystanders when using these machines.

In the workplace…wear appropriate safety eyewear for your job. Many of the 2,000 employees who are injured each day didn’t think they needed eye protection or were wearing eyewear inappropriate for the job.

Around the car…battery acid, sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.


1.Vision screening includes an evaluation at birth, during the well-child visit (6 months – 2 years), and a preschool examination.

2.Involve young children in visually stimulating activities – playing outside, reading, interactive games early in life – visual development is most active until about 12 years of age.

3.If your child has been prescribed glasses, encourage them to wear them as prescribed, as failure to do so can limit your child’s visual development for life.

4.Avoid exposure to any cigarette smoke. In addition to causing respiratory issues, cigarette smoke exposure can cause dry eyes and increase likelihood of other conditions later in life (cataracts/macular degeneration).

5.Contact lenses are only to be worn when dispensed by an authorized provider (an optometrist or ophthalmologist).

6.Do not let your child, or anyone, wear their contact lenses over night, regardless of what the contact lens box may say. Overnight wear significantly increases risk for serious eye infections.

7.Encourage a healthy diet with leafy greens and fruits to ensure adequate vitamin supplementation for healthy eye and general development.

8.If your child plays sports, consider use of protective eyewear – as 90% of sports-related eye injuries are preventable.

9.Regular exercise should be encouraged to maintain normal weight – reducing risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.

Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting your eyes from injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention promptly. This message is brought to you by Syracuse Community Health Center, your Healthcare Home of Choice!