-More than $1 Billion Spent Annually on Costs Related to Eye Injuries-
HOUSTON (Sept. 25, 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 the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And, a recent report from 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 Texashas 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 America 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 Debbie Goss, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness Texas.“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 America offers a free “First Aid for Eye Emergencies” sticker in both English and Spanish that can be placed on the inside of a medicine cabinet. Basic eye injury first aid instructions include:
Chemical Burns to the Eye
Specks in the Eye
Blows to the Eye
Cuts and Punctures of the Eye or Eyelid
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 Texas at 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit www.preventblindnesstexas.org.
About Prevent Blindness Texas
Founded in 1956, Prevent Blindness is the state’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness Texas touches the lives of thousands of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the Texas public. Through a network of regional offices and volunteers, we are committed to eliminating preventable blindness in Texas. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, or blog.