Tag: Injury

It’s Workplace Eye Wellness Month, What Serious Dangers are at Your Job?

workplace-eye-injuryWhether you’re a full-time employee or a freelancer working from the comfort of home, it’s important to be aware of the risks of workplace eye injuries and the various safety practices you should follow. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, almost 25,000 people suffer eye injuries on the job that requires emergency medical attention each year. This Workplace Eye Wellness Month, please join the USC Roski Eye Institute in staying up-to-date on what you can do to protect your eyesight while you work.

The Most Common Workplace Eye Injuries

While certain industries are more well known for posing greater risks to employees’ health and safety, such as construction, manufacturing, or even health care, it is necessary for people of all industries to be aware of potential dangers at work.

The most common workplace eye injuries include:

Over-Exposure to Computer Screens – With more and more people making a living from behind a computer screen, it is important to note that staring into the glowing light of a computer, laptop, or tablet can cause eye pain, eye dryness and vision issues. The level of eye strain and blurry vision will depend on the amount of exposure on a daily basis.

Small Flying Particles – Small objects, such as wood chips, metal slivers, or cement chips can cause irritation or even penetrate the delicate tissue.

Blunt Force Trauma – Large objects, including wooden beams or metal bars, can strike the socket or the eyeball, resulting in bruising, orbital injury, retinal detachment, double vision, or bleeding.

Chemical Burns – Chemical workplace eye injuries are not uncommon in the janitorial, medical, or construction industries. Ammonia, disinfectants, strong acids, and alkali substances can irritate the delicate surface of the eyes, potentially causing scarring, perforation, and blindness.

Thermal Burns – Exposure to extreme heat, such as from an oven, welding equipment, or industrial materials like molten plastics or hot gases, can penetrate the eye quickly, resulting in severe injury or total vision loss.

Radiation – Ionizing radiation from x-rays or radioisotopes, or ultraviolet radiation from tanning lamps, welding arcs, or electric sparks are the most common causes of workplace eye burn injuries. Depending on the type and amount of exposure, the damage may be gradual, developing within a few days to a year or so following exposure.

Exposure to Infectious Diseases – Nurses, doctors, and others in the medical industry face a particularly higher risk of workplace eye infections via ocular exposure to diseases. Infectious diseases and viruses can be transmitted by direct exposure to respiratory droplets or blood, as well as from touching the face or eyes with contaminated fingers.

Vision Safety Tips

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers take appropriate measures to ensure that their employees are protected against potential workplace eye injuries. In order to help prevent workplace eye injuries, it is also important for individuals to keep the following tips in mind:

  • When working at a computer, take breaks every 15 minutes to relax the eyes. Sit about 30 inches away from the screen. Try to stay well hydrated, this can help with dryness.
  • Review your work space for potential hazards before starting work.
  • Wear protective eyewear in areas that pose the risk of injury
  • Always use appropriate protective eyewear that fits, such as goggles, safety glasses, welding helmets, full-face respirators, or face shields.
  • Stay up-to-date on first aid procedures for common workplace injuries and make sure that the first aid kit is well stocked.
  • Encourage coworkers and new hires to follow all safety procedures to prevent workplace eye injuries.

In the event of a workplace eye emergency it is important to take action immediately and see a doctor as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor irritants can cause significant damage over time. No matter what type of damage, remember to never rub the eye. In the event of a chemical exposure, the eye should be immediately irrigated with eyewash or water. Punctures or cuts should be covered by a rigid shield, such as a cup, while seeking medical attention. If there is a foreign body stuck in the eye, do not try to remove it prior to seeking medical advice, doing so can cause more injury.

Protect Your Vision with USC Roski Eye Institute

Whether you have suffered a workplace eye injury, suspect that your work conditions are affecting your eyesight, or simply want an annual exam, the board-certified ophthalmologists at the USC Roski Eye Institute are highly experienced providing the best quality vision care and treatment available. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by completing our online contact form or simply calling (323) 442-6335. We are located in Los Angeles, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.

For more information about the USC Roski Eye Institute or to support the Institute by making a tax-deductible gift, please contact Rebecca Melville, senior director of development, at 323.442.5396 or via email at Rebecca.Melville@med.usc.edu.

Next, read Incidence of Childhood Myopia on the Rise.


October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

USC Eye Injury Prevention TipsThe month of October is notable for its increasingly shorter days, the sudden appearance of pumpkins everywhere, and the anticipation of Halloween parties and trick or treating. But did you know it is also Eye Injury Prevention Month? While eye safety should be a year-round concern, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), nearly 2.5 million people suffer eye injuries every year, many of which result in partial or total vision loss. Therefore, in order to help prevent painful, costly, and potentially debilitating eye injuries from occurring, the USC Roski Eye Institute would like to remind people of all ages about the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure their vision stays healthy and strong every month of every year.

Most Common Eye Injuries and Protective Eyewear You Should Wear

When considering where most eye injuries occur, most people automatically think of the workplace, and while certain job sites, such as construction zones, machine shops, and even healthcare facilities, have more open and obvious potential dangers for the eyes, at least half of all injury accidents that affect the eyes actually occur in the home. In many workplaces, protective eyewear is not only advised, it is often a mandatory precaution. However, there isn’t the same emphasis on eye safety at home or when out and about in day-to-day life.

As a reminder, some of the most common causes of eye damage include:

  • Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause significant damage to the eyes, even causing corneal sunburns from extreme overexposure. It is important to wear sunglasses that block 100 percent UVA and UVB rays as well as a hat with a wide brim when outdoors, while driving, or while playing sports. Sunlight reflecting off of pavement, snow, or water can be particularly harmful if the eyes are not protected, so having a good pair of polarized sunglasses can reduce this kind of sun exposure.
  • Sports-related Accidents: Blunt trauma from a fall or forceful impact while playing sports can cause significant damage to the eye and orbital socket if left unprotected. There’s a reason many professional athletes wear helmets with face guards or protective goggles. When competing, the last thing you should have to risk is your eyesight. Whether playing for fun on the weekend or participating in a league, always wear the appropriate safety gear. In the event of severe trauma, oculoplastic plastic surgery may be necessary.
  • Chemical Exposure: We are surrounded by a variety of household and everyday products that contain harmful chemicals that could severely damage one’s eyes. From cleaning products, pesticides, car batteries, and even cooking products, without protective glasses, a single splash or even fumes can inadvertently irritate or injure the eye. Always read the labels on new products and follow the instructions to prevent eye injury.
  • Makeup and Costume Contacts: With Halloween around the corner, more people will be applying makeup near their eyes and putting novelty contacts on their eyes for the sake of a convincing costume. Whether you are an avid makeup artist or trying out a new costume idea, remember to avoid putting cosmetics too close to your eyes, throw out expired products, and do not use costume contacts, which can cause eye irritation and potential permanent damage.

How to Treat an Eye Injury

If an accident occurs and you or a loved one has suffered an eye injury, remember the following safety tips to protect your eyes as much as possible:

  • Do not touch or rub the eye
  • Do no apply pressure or medications
  • Do not remove any object that may be stuck
  • Shield or protect the eye
  • Only flush the eye with clean water in case of chemical exposure or burn
  • Seek emergency attention immediately!

Get an Annual Eye Exam at USC Roski Eye Institute

In the event of an eye injury, it is important to stay calm and seek professional medical help, especially from an ophthalmologist. To ensure that your vision is healthy all year long, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with the skilled ophthalmologists at USC Roski Eye Institute for a thorough exam. If your eyes are slowly suffering the effects of age, UV exposure, or other illness, our exceptional eye doctors can catch and treat the condition before it becomes worse.

To support the USC Roski Eye Institute, please make a tax-deductible gift by contacting Rebecca Melville, senior director of development, at 323.442.5396 or via email at Rebecca.Melville@med.usc.edu today!

Next, read Five Eye Conditions Your Child Is At Risk For Contracting.

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