Preventing Eye Injuries: Steps You Can Take (Video)

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October 31, 2016

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This post is available in: Spanish

Every year, thousands of adults and children suffer an eye injury that requires a doctor visit. These injuries account for nearly half a billion dollars annually in healthcare costs. And it is estimated that 90 percent of them are preventable, according to Mandeep Dhalla, M.D., a retina eye doctor with Baptist Eye Surgery Center.

“Preventive care is the mantra of medicine – and the message we give in our office is to remind our patients about the importance of eyewear and protection,” he said.

Children are at greatest risk for an eye injury, and, according to the National Eye Institute, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States. Most injuries that occur in school-age children are sports-related, but,  unfortunately, most youth sports leagues don’t require eye protection. Therefore, it is up to the parent or coach to enforce the use of approved goggles or glasses designed for the particular sport.

“Eye injuries are not age-specific, but usually they’re related to a type of activity,” Dr. Dhalla said. “In fact, most common eye injuries occur when you least expect them and during mundane activities, not just when there is a high risk of injury.”

If you have – or suspect you have – an eye injury, Dr. Dhalla recommends that you cover the eye until you can visit a doctor. “I’ve seen patients come in thinking they just had a corneal abrasion or a scratch on the eye, and they actually have a penetrating injury and have to be taken to surgery immediately,” he said.

Watch the video for more tips from Dr. Dhalla on preventing eye injuries.