Keeping your eyes from harm while in the workplace

Eye injuries that happen in the workplace can lead to significant disruptions in your personal and professional lives. If an eye injury does occur, it’s essential to get emergency care right away to prevent the injury from becoming worse and causing further complications. Although emergency care can reduce the risk of long-term vision problems, preventing an injury from occurring in the first place is the best strategy. Keep this advice in mind to prevent eye injuries in your workplace.

Know the risks
Identify the areas of your job that put your eyes most at risk. These are some of the most common eye risks in the workplace:

  • Flying debris
  • Tools
  • Chemicals
  • Sparks, such as in welding

Although it is not associated with acute eye injuries, keep in mind using a computer can also cause eye strain that leads to vision issues. If you work on a computer all day, remember to look away periodically to give your eyes a break.

Wear protective goggles
The single most effective thing you can do to prevent eye injuries at work is to wear protective goggles. Be sure to choose goggles that are appropriate for the kind of work you do. For instance, if dust and debris fly around at your job, your goggles should have side shields. If you work with lasers or fiber optics, wear safety goggles that reduce light exposure.

Any safety goggles you choose should comply with OSHA regulations for the kind of work you do. Regulations also require anyone who wears glasses to have them incorporated into your goggles. There are two options: your glasses can fit under the goggles or the goggles can be made with prescription lenses.

Recognize the symptoms
While some eye injuries will be obvious, others can have subtle symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Unusual pupil size
  • Feeling like there is something stuck in your eye
  • Feeling like vision is worse in one eye than the other

Seek emergency care right away if you suspect that you have sustained an injury.

The emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide fast, high-quality care for all of your urgent healthcare needs. To find out more about our emergency care services in San Jose, please call (888) 724-2362.

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