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For more information:

Prevent Blindness Ohio

Stacie Lehman
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,


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


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







2010 Eye Injury Snapshot Project Results Include:

  • Males sustained nearly three in four (73.5%) of the injuries reported on the days during the “snapshot.”
  • Nearly half of the injuries sustained (49.3%) were to people between the ages of 30 to 64.  Less than one in nine injuries (11.7%) were to people 12 years of age or younger and about one in twelve (8.6%) were to people 65 or older.
  • More than four in five patients (83.8%) who sustained injuries had no previous ocular treatment histories.
  • More than half (52.1%) of the eye injuries occurred in the home.
  • More than four in ten of the eye injuries occurring in the home (41.6%) were in the yard/garden.  More than one in three of the eye injuries occurring at home (34.3%) were in the living areas of the home (e.g., kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living/family room).
  • More than one in four of the eye injuries occurring at home (25.8%) were due to play/sports, and one in four (25.0%) were due to home repair or power tools (home and yard). 
  • More than half of the Ophthalmologists (53.8%) reported that the time lapse between injury and treatment was no more than several hours.
  • Accidents were the causes of more than four in five injuries (80.5%).  Assaults accounted for more than one in seven eye injuries (14.1%).
  • The agents causing the largest numbers of injuries were fingers/fists/other body parts (16.5%), projectiles (13.3%), blunt objects (11.7%), sharp objects (9.5%), and power tools/tools (9.2%).
  • Drugs and/or alcohol were involved in less than one in fifteen (6.8%) reported injuries. 
  • More than one in five patients (21.3%) was wearing eyewear at the time of the injury.  In less than one in twelve of those cases (8.2%) was the eyewear broken.
  • While more than two in five injuries (42.2%) occurred to patients’ right eyes, more than one in three (35.7%) occurred to the patients’ left eyes.
  • More than three in five eye injuries (60.7%) were reported to be to cornea injuries, more than half (50.3%) involved conjunctiva injuries, more than two in five involved lids (40.1%), and/or anterior chamber (41.0%). 
  • Nearly half of the treatments (49.3%) were provided in the Ophthalmologist’s office, while nearly two in five (37.3%) was provided in a hospital emergency department/emergency room.
  • Generally, the prognoses were good.  Ophthalmologists reported that nearly three in four patients who sustained eye injuries (73.8%) were expect to fully recover, while another one in ten (9.6%) would experience only mild impairment.
  • Just over one in twelve of the patients sustaining eye injuries (7.9%) had moderate to severe eye injuries.
  • Most Ophthalmologists (50.1%) felt that the eye injuries they examined and treated could have been avoided if the patients had worn appropriate protective eyewear.  More than two in five (42.0%) also thought that the injuries could have been avoided with patient education.

Purchasing safety eyewear


  • Hardware stores, home building centers, safety supply companies, and optical supply or vision care centers sell safety eyewear for common home tasks. Be sure that the safety eyewear has the Z-87 logo on the frames and other parts.


  • Check for rocks and debris before mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. These objects can become dangerous projectiles when shot out from lawn mowers and trimmers such as weed whackers. Don't forget to wear goggles.
  • Bungee cords are a common cause of severe eye injuries. Wear eye protection when using bungee cords.
  • Buy safe toys for kids, avoiding those with sharp edges.
  • Never use fireworks. Even sparklers burn hot enough to melt gold.
  • Keep a pair of safety glasses or goggles with your jumper cables, and follow instructions carefully when jump-starting a dead car battery.
  • Be careful with household chemicals, since many can burn your eyes' delicate tissues. Always wear goggles, read instructions carefully, work in well ventilated areas and make sure the nozzle is pointed away from you.
  • Always wear appropriate eye protection when playing sports. (Read more about protective sports eyewear.)
  • Have fun in the sun, but always wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays when outdoors for extended times.