By Dr S.S. Gill
Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about PREVENTION FROM EYE INJURIES WHILE GARDENING.
While rearranging some plants the other day, Mr Jamil (not his real name) had his right eye struck by a leaf as he stooped down to carry a flower pot. He shared, “after all these years of gardening, this was the last thing I expected”.
So many individuals have been injured in the eye by a leaf or branch. We are all exposed to the dangers of eye injury and often times they occur in the most unexpected situations while gardening and especially while pruning.
One other contributing factor is the false sense of safety when one is doing stuff at home but yet almost 20 to 30 per cent of all eye injuries occur in and around the home. Not surprisingly of course is the fact that other major causes of preventable ocular injuries that occur in Malaysia are either work-related trauma or motor vehicle accidents.
Any injury to the eye especially if severe, runs the risk of permanent visual loss or blindness and more so if left untreated or treated improperly. Fortunately, 90 per cent of all eye injuries can be prevented. Prevention is a matter of learning the common causes of injury and how to protect your eyes – whether in the garden, at work or at play.
EYE INJURIES MAY OCCUR DUE TO SEVERAL REASONS:
Poisonous chemicals like weed killers are being sprayed.
Foreign bodies including dirt, grass and ants which may enter when pruning or cutting grass.
Gardening tools like cutters that are used above our heads when cutting a branch may slip and injure the eyes and face.
Rarely, bees that may have been disturbed when pruning a tree.
And of course, the sun’s rays are also not good for the eyes.
Wearing protective goggles made of ultra-strong polycarbonate which is impact and scratch resistant is important. Polycarbonate is unlike regular plastic or glass sunglasses used because it is 10 times more impact resistant. It has the capacity to protect the eyes from high velocity projectiles as well.
If you are fond of gardening when the sun is shining bright, it would be wise to invest in polycarbonate safety sunglasses. These would also protect you from 100 per cent ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun.
Should you suffer from an eye injury, be sure to seek medical attention early in order to prevent any permanent visual loss. Take all precautions seriously – don’t become a statistic of eye injury.