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Avoiding Non-Impact Eye Injuries

You may think wearing goggles is enough to protect your eyes, but many injuries can happen to your eyes that goggles won't prevent.

Protecting them from the sun, dirt, dryness, and allergens is also important.

Practice prevention

To protect yourself and your family from eye injuries:

  • Keep your eyes moist. Dry, windy weather, certain medications and conditions, and menopause can make your eyes more prone to irritation. Using artificial tears and cleaning the eyelids with sterile pads can help.

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors. Make sure the label states that the lenses block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Any factor that increases your exposure to sunlight, such as prescription drugs that increase sensitivity to UV light, can increase the risk for eye problems. People who work outdoors or engage in leisure activities outside, especially in the snow or near water, have the highest risk.

  • Avoid tanning beds. They can cause skin cancer and damage your eyes.

  • Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents, such as cleaning fluids and ammonia. Always read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area, and make sure spray nozzles are pointed away from you before using. Wear safety goggles while working and wash your hands thoroughly when you're finished.

Treating an injury

If you sustain an eye injury, see an eye doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away, even if the injury seems minor. Delaying medical attention could result in permanent vision loss or blindness.