The Australian and New Zealand Eye Foundation (ANZEF) has launched its annual JulEYE campaign to raise public awareness of the importance of protecting eyes. Additionally, the campaign aims to promote easy advice and cost-efficient steps to avoid preventable eye injuries.
In recent weeks, during the COVID-19 lockdown, there have been increased reports of ocular injuries due to people working on DIY projects at home. Aptly, the campaign highlights the need to wear eye protection.
ANZEF points out that while preventable eye damage can occur in many circumstances, about 30% of all eye injuries occur at home during DIY projects, car repairs or gardening and are caused by chemical burns, penetrating eye injuries and small particles.
“Ophthalmologists commonly treat chemical burns and foreign body injuries that could have been prevented,” says A/Prof Heather Mack, RANZCO Board President. “Unfortunately some of these injuries do result in a patient having permanent eye damage and vision loss so we urge everyone to take eye safety seriously and wear eye protection when completing any jobs around the home.
30% of all eye injuries occur at home during DIY projects, car repairs or gardening and are caused by chemical burns, penetrating eye injuries and small particles
“It is vital for all Australians and New Zealanders to ensure they are wearing eye protection, such as safety glasses, goggles or face shields, to prevent common eye injuries. Nearly all of these eye injuries can be prevented by taking the simple precaution of wearing suitable eye protection.”
Chemical burn injuries, caused by improper use of house-hold spraying products, are especially dangerous for the eyes. ANZEF recommends flushing eyes with clean running water for at least fifteen minutes. Similarly, small particles and irritants that enter the eye can be flushed with clean water. Penetrating eye injuries, often a result of accidents concerning gardening machinery, must be dealt with by gently covering the injured eye and securing with tape. Depending on the severity of the injury, also consult your eye health professional, GP or go to emergency.
To prevent or minimise the occurrence of any of these common eye injuries, ANZEF recommends people wear eye protection where the frame and lenses meet minimum lens dimension requirements of AS/NZS 1337.1. Safety glasses and googles are readily available.
To find out more about the safety eyewear that’s available to stock in practice, read mivision’s recent feature.