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August 2005

NHM Health Focus: Preventing Eye Injuries


You can Prevent Eye Injuries when you are:

In The Sun:
  - UV Safety (Prevent BlindnessAmerica)
  - During Solar Eclipses (NASA Sun-Earth Education Forum)

At Home
  - Home Safety Checklist (Prevent BlindnessAmerica)
  - Eye M.D.s Warn Yard Work Can Be Hazardous to Your Eyes (AAO)

Choosing Eyewear
  - Eye Wear
  - Black Market Contact Lenses Serious Risk to Eye Health (Medem)
  - Choose the Right Eyewear for Sports Safety (AAO)
  - Policy Statement for Protective Eyewear (AAO)
  - Choosing Sunglasses (PBA)

Watching or Participating in Sports
  - Play Sports Safely (AAO)

  - Eye Injuries in Sports (AAFP)

At Work
  - 10 Ways to Prevent Eye Injuries at Work (PBA)

  - Requirements for Eye and Face Protection (OSHA)

What You Need to Know about Eye Injury Prevention (AAO)

Treatment to Prevent Further Damage:
  - First Aid for Eye Emergencies (PBA)
  - Eye Injuries (Kids Health, Nemours Foundation)
  - Treating an Eye Injury AAO)
  - First Aid for Eyes (CDC - NASD)

The images posted (scroll down for graphic views) by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are reminders of what can happen when eye safety is ignored. While eye protection on the job and in sports has reduced the number of traumatic eye injuries, there is much more to be done. Fifty thousand people lose their sight needlessly every year. Thousands of eye accidents happen each day; 90 percent of these are preventable with the use of appropriate safety eyewear. (Prevent Blindness America)

Eye injuries may be sudden and traumatic as when the eye is hit by flying objects, splattered chemicals, or intense light. Eyesight can also be damaged when your eyes get too much ultraviolet light during water or snow sports, arc-welding or using a tanning salons.

Education programs, online resources, traveling exhibits, and public service announcements all help make people aware of eye injuries -- how they occur, what can be done to prevent eye injuries, and in the event of an injury, how to minimize long term effects. Here we highlight a few of the best resources online

Organizations Dedicated to Eye Health and Safety

  • National Eye Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has copyright-free photos and diagrams of healthy and diseased eyes, 30 second videos of public service announcements, information of clinical studies, results of recent research, and more.

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Eye M.D. Association, has resources for patients and the public, including information on eye health and safety and information on access to eye care.

  • Prevent Blindness America, a volunteer organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Their site is full of easy to understand resources related to eye health in the home, at work and at play. They have online eye tests, material for kids, and more.

  • Eye Health Organizations Database can "help you find sources of eye health-related information for the public. Many of these organizations can also refer you to resources in your local area. Compiled by the National Eye Institute

For general information on the eye and eye health, please see

Eye and vision resources posted on Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum web site:




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