Preventing eye injuries before and after laser vision correction
The 2008 Eye Injury Snapshot shows that half of the 2.5 million eye injuries reported annually in the United States occurred in and around the home and yard.
For the past five years members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology have participated in this study which reports injuries occurring within a one week period.
The majority (76%) of injuries occurred in men, and over half of those suffering injuries were between the ages of 10 and 45. Common household tools including bungee cords and chemicals were reported to cause injuries. The majority of injuries took place in the yard, workshop, and garage.
Results from this study can be found at www.geteyesmart.org.
The best option for reducing the number of eye injuries is prevention. In many cases common sense and safety glasses will prevent these types of injuries. For any work involving power tools, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and household chemicals, safety glasses may prevent serious injury. The study highlights the need for safety glasses for common activities that do not involve power tools such as using a hammer and nail.
The risk for injury may be increased following LASIK due to the possibility of flap shift. Following LASIK, the eye should be considered to be more fragile as the flap can be shifted or damaged even years later. While there is no flap with PRK, safety glasses are still recommended for any activities including home repair where they would be ordinarily worn.
Whether or not you have had LASIK or PRK you should seek prompt treatment with your optometrist, ophthalmologist, or emergency physician following any eye injury. Serious vision loss occurred in 50,000 cases reported in the 2008 Eye Injury Snapshot study.