I thought most eye injuries took place at work?

Nope! Did you know nearly half of all eye injuries occur at home? Being proactive about eye safety should not stop at the workplace. Precautions should always be taken when working with hazards regardless if they are at home or work.

Are eye injuries actually avoidable?

Yes! In fact, a whopping 90% of reported eye injuries are avoidable had the proper precautions and eye safety equipment been used.

Where are common eye hazards found around the home?

While eye hazards can be found in any room of the house, many are often found in the kitchen, garden, garage, and bathroom. These rooms often contain chemicals/cleaners, tools, sharp items, or objects under tension.

What are the most common eye injuries reported?

Penetration of small sharp objects, dirt/debris, and burns are some of the most commonly reported home eye injuries.


Powered garden tools such as weed wipers and hedge trimmers are capable of launching dirt/debris at high speeds. Impacts to the eye could result in corneal lacerations or eye infections. 

Chemical/Thermal Burns 

Splashes of household chemicals and cleaners can not only be painful, but cause significant damage to the eye if not immediately treated. Chemical burns from bleach can cause nerve and tissue damage in severe cases. Droplets of hot oil from cooking can lead to corneal burns.

Sharp Objects

Penetration of sharp objects can lead to partial or total loss of vision within the affected eye depending on severity and time gone without proper treatment. Metal objects are especially concerning as they can react with the water in tears, causing rust. Left untreated, rust can lead to corneal staining, inflammation, and necrosis.

How can I protect myself and others from eye injuries?

Individuals working with hazards are advised to wear safety glasses which are CSA approved, clear, light weight, and well ventilated. 

Children lacking fine motor skills should be supervised when using pointed objects such as pencils, utensils, and scissors. Projectile toys like BB guns, bow & arrows, or darts should be avoided or used outside with supervision and eye safety equipment. 

Those working on home renovation projects should always follow manufacturers’ instructions, read all warning labels, and wear the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective eyewear and gloves. Power tools should not be operated around unprotected bystanders and turned off when not in use.

Parents and child carers should be mindful of pokes to the eye by young ones, which may cause corneal abrasions. Pet owners also need to be cautious of eye scratches from their fur friends during play as bacteria from claws could lead to abrasions and eye infections .

Those cooking with oil should use a splatter screen to protect themselves from scalding grease droplets. Additionally, those using cleaning products should read all safety labels and never mix products. 

I already wear prescription glasses, can I just use them instead?

No, prescription glasses should not be used in place of safety glasses. The lenses of your prescription glasses (unless designed to be used as safety glasses) are not made of the same material as safety glasses, and therefore do not offer the same level of impact resistance. However, there are safety glasses that can fit over top of your prescription glasses or can be made to include your prescription in the lenses.

What should I do if I injure my eye?

For most injuries, you can visit your optometrist. Optometrists are equipped to deal with many eye emergencies and injuries and these sorts of visits are typically covered by Alberta health care. For more serious injuries, such as a penetrating wound into the eyeball, a visit to ophthalmology or the hospital may be required. If it is after hours and your optometrist is closed, you can always visit the hospital.

If you have a question about eye safety, Dr. Michael Pedersen would be happy to help. Phone River City Eye Care to book your appointment (587) 521-8821 or book online today.

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