Eye injuries peak in summer, according to expert studies from the University of Birmingham. More people, young and old, start visiting the emergency room for treatment in May, and the numbers continue to rise until peaking in July.
Summer is the season to maintain an extra level of vigilance when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones from eye injuries. What are the most common summer-season eye injuries you should guard against?
Wear Sunglasses and Prevent Burned Corneas
In summer, it’s normal to enjoy outdoor activities such as sporting events, concerts or simply hanging out at the beach. It’s easy to forget your hat or sunglasses, but this can result in a serious cornea burn. You might not notice it happening, but later on in the evening, the eye pain will start.
Make sure you wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays, or at least wear a visor to protect your eyes from the glare. If your eyes are consistently exposed to too much ultraviolet light, this can speed up cataract formation, leading to future eye health issues, plus a potentially painful cornea burn in the bright summer months.
Protect Your Eyes During Lawn Care
Summer is landscaping season. But before you break out your weed trimmer and lawn mower, make sure you have the right eye protection. Eye injuries are commonly caused by flying wood chips and dirt particles. The same goes for any home renovation or construction projects — keep sawdust and nails away from your eyes with high-quality, sturdy goggles.
Sports Injuries Can Be Dangerous
One of the most frequent causes of eye injuries, especially in patients between the ages of 11 and 14, is sports participation. The bigger the ball, the less likely it is to harm your eye directly, but summer is the season for small-ball sports such as golf, tennis, lacrosse and baseball.
Paintball is another activity with the potential for eye injuries. Make sure you and your children wear the right helmets and face protection — it could save you a trip to the emergency room or the eye doctor.
Don’t Get Close to Fireworks!
Fireworks are inherently dangerous! If you aren’t trained and licensed to set off fireworks for your July 4th celebration, resist your pyrotechnic urges. Eye injuries account for almost 25 percent of all fireworks injuries, and one-third of those injuries results in permanent damage.
Watch Out for Harsh Pool Chemicals
If pools have the wrong pH balance or improper levels of chemicals, swimming underwater can result in serious eye irritation or pain, especially in children. Encourage children to use swim goggles and make sure your pool’s chemical balance is safe before planning a pool party.
Trust Salt Lake Eye Associates for your family’s annual eye exams and for emergency care for any and all eye injuries in the summertime.