FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Prevent Blindness Ohio
Phone: (800) 301-2020 ext. 119
- More than $1 Billion Spent Annually on Costs Related to Eye Injuries-
Columbus, OH (Sept. 27, 2013) –Each year in the United States, more than 2.5 million eye injuries occur and 50,000 people permanently lose part or all of their vision, according to theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology. And, a recent reportfrom Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, shows that the annual costs related to eye injuries are more than $1.3 billion.
Because more eye injuries occur in and around the home, Prevent Blindness Ohio has declared October as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month to help educate the public on steps that can be taken to avoid painful and costly injuries. Free information can be found at the group’s dedicated web page, PreventBlindness.org/eye-safety-home.
Eye injuries can occur from a variety of common sources, such as flying debris from lawn mowers or trimmers, or splashes from household cleaners, paints
or solvents. Prevent Blindness Ohio urges everyone to wear protective eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) when performing household activities. The eyewear should have the “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames. For those who wear prescription glasses, many safety glasses or goggles will fit over regular glasses. Regular eyeglasses do not always provide enough protection, and may even cause further injury upon impact.
“Because most eye injuries can be avoided by wearing proper eye protection, we want the public to be diligent about protecting their vision even when doing the most mundane tasks,” said Sherry Williams, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness Ohio. “Accidents can happen in an instant but have an impact on eye health for the rest of your life.”
Knowing what to do for an eye emergency can save valuable time and possibly prevent vision loss. Prevent Blindness Ohio offers a free “First Aid for Eye Emergencies” sticker in both English and Spanishthat can be placed on the inside of a medicine cabinet. Basic eye injury first aid instructions include:
Chemical Burns to the Eye
Immediately flush the eye with water or any other drinkable liquid. Hold the eye under a faucet or shower, or pour water into the eye using a clean container. Keep the eye open and as wide as possible while flushing. Continue flushing for at least 15 minutes.
DO NOT use an eyecup. DO NOT bandage the eye.
If a contact lens is in the eye, begin flushing over the lens immediately. This may wash away the lens.
Seek immediate medical treatment after flushing.
Specks in the Eye
DO NOT rub the eye.
Try to let tears wash the speck out or use eyewash.
Try lifting the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid.
If the speck does not wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage it lightly, and see a doctor.
Blows to the Eye
Apply a cold compress without putting pressure on the eye. Crushed ice in a plastic bag can be taped to the forehead to rest gently on the injured eye.
In cases of pain, reduced vision, or discoloration (black eye), seek emergency medical care. Any of these symptoms could mean internal eye damage.
Cuts and Punctures of the Eye or Eyelid
DO NOT wash out the eye with water or any other liquid.
DO NOT try to remove an object that is stuck in the eye.
Cover the eye with a rigid shield without applying pressure. The bottom half of a paper cup can be used.
See a doctor at once.
For more information on how to protect the eyes at home or to request the First Aid for Eye Emergencies sticker, please call Prevent Blindness Ohio at (800) 301-2020 or visit pbohio.org.
About Prevent Blindness Ohio
Prevent Blindness Ohio, founded in 1957, is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. Prevent Blindness Ohio is an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America, the country’s second-oldest national voluntary health organization. For more information or to make a donation call 800-301-2020 or visit us on the web at pbohio.org.
HOME EYE SAFETY TALKING POINTS
The annual costs related to eye injuries and burns is more than $1.3 billion. (PBA Cost of Vision report) http://costofvision.preventblindness.org/costs/direct-costs/medical-costs-by-disorder/medical-costs-by-diagnosis
Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States. (American Academy Ophthalmology) http://www.aao.org/newsroom/upload/Eye-Health-Statistics-April-2011.pdf
Ninety percent of all eye injuries could have been prevented.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology surveyed ophthalmologists, as well as emergency medicine physicians, pediatricians and other physicians who may treat eye injuries, from across the country and issued its annual “Eye Injury Snapshot.”
2010 Eye Injury Snapshot Project Results Include:
Purchasing safety eyewear