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Preventing Avoidable Eye Injuries

Eye Health

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 avoidable eye injuries. 

The number of eye injuries that seek treatment at Accident & Emergency Departments in hospitals throughout the world is no small figure. Minor eye injuries that do not leave any residual vision loss is not an issue but the ones that are serious, cause devastating loss of vision. Of concern are the preventable ones that could have been avoided in the first place only if proper precautions had been put into place. Here are some SAFETY TECHNIQUES & PROTECTION TIPS that should be in place in every home.

WEARING OF PROTECTIVE GOGGLES

This cannot be taken lightly. In fact, it is mandatory! Every time you lift that hammer to hammer in a nail or when you work in the garden with those thorny beloved plants or when you mow that lawn, do make sure you have your goggles on. Sharp twigs often go unnoticed and have pierced the eyes of those who have been doing pruning without goggles. Do not take this lightly as an eye injury may have devastating implications to vision. Pick up all stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent any loose fragments from flying into a persons’ eye from the spinning lawn mower.

WORK TOOLS

All tools should be kept in perfect condition. Old tools that have rusted should be replaced as they have a tendency to break or get chipped-off causing injury to the eyes. Always replace or repair all old power tools. Remember to keep all work tools away from young kids. I have seen a child injured in the eye by a wood-stapler that was accidentally shot into the eye causing serious eye injury.

LOOSE CARPETS & SHARP FURNITURE EDGES

Secure all loose carpets or rugs that may cause the elderly and the very young to slip and fall. Many a time, I see injuries from a fall where the eye gets injured when falling on the edge of a piece of furniture lying in front of them. Be sure to cushion or pad all sharp corners and edges of furniture if you have children or the elderly in your house.

MPV (multipurpose vehicle) DOORS. Be cautious when opening the door of an MPV as the door edge is quite often at the same level as the eye. There have been people who have had eye injuries as a result of the sharp door edge grazing their eye.

HIGH SHELVES AND CUPBOARDS

Avoid jam-packing items onto a high shelf or cupboard. When taking things out of the cupboard, a heavy and sharp object can fall off only to cause serious eye injury.

CARE FOR CHILDREN

Be cautious of seemingly harmless “satay sticks” as children have injured their eyes when the satay stick has ricocheted into the eye after the meat has been pulled off the stick. Be mindful of children when they play with darts, toy guns that shoot bullets and when they play with sparklers or fireworks. Also, remind children never to throw any objects around.

HIGH POWERED WATER JETS. Do not allow children to play with high powered water jets used for cleaning and car-washing. These water jets can cause eye injuries.

Despite taking all precautions, accidents may still occur resulting in eye injuries. Always seek professional help if this happens.

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Dr S.S. Gill

Dr S.S. Gill is a Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh. For more information on Eye Health, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah 05 545 5582 or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

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