When you get a reminder that sight can be lost in a blink of an eye. This weeks topic might need a larger beverage!
I have not thought about this too much due to mostly using safety glasses when doing jobs that could hold hazards. Knowing about your eye before anything is a problem is a great way to start. Here is the anatomy of the eye.
My family member who always wears safety gear was working on a vehicle and looking up a piece of metal got in their eye under the safety glasses.
They did not realize the same day something got in their eye, it felt like a scratch on their eyelid. After doing an eye rinse and an inspection of the eye they figured out that there was a dark fleck. It was then they realized they needed treatment, there was no crazy pain, sometimes you think it will work its way out. Eyes need extra care, see someone. It took three visits so far to help get the rust and metal out, there will be more follow ups. Everything is going well.
When to go to the emergency for an eye problem as opposed to seeing a family doctor. If you have anything sticking on your eye, burns of any kind, bleeding, redness or swelling after an injury, foreign object, chemical splashes or if you suddenly have loss of sight. Especially if you have had head trauma including falls, motor vehicle accidents or blunt head trauma. If you have had jolting head trauma try not to move your head too much, cover your eye with a clean patch and get a ride to the hospital.
If you have something happen at work, see your first aid attendant. They will often be able to advise you if you need more in-depth medical aid. If they don’t guide you to seek medical attention, follow up and if you feel it warrants medical attention see a doctor. If you have had anything other than minor band aid first aid at work I would always recommend a follow up with your family doctor. Your first aid person might flush your eye or use swabs to gently get foreign objects out. If you have something sticking out of your eye they might need to put something around the eye to make it safe for transport.
Your work might have safety eye protocols and rules. Some places you must have safety approved eye coverings. They have one that fully fits over prescription eyewear too. Some jobs don’t allow for workers to wear contact lenses due to the dangers the job holds.
If you are at home, always wash your hands before doing anything to your eyes.
If you have any major pain or even burning, get someone to drive you. Sometimes eye treatments can seem like “oh I can drive” but you are better to have a ride. The treatments can leave you not seeing so well for a time.
Getting anything foreign in your eye, or anything that could injure your eye or your sight. Do not touch or rub the eye. Unless you have special first aid training do not try to treat an eye injury. You could enhance permanent damage.
You can do a 10 minute eye wash at an eye station provided you have not punctured the eye or the eyelid.
Some hospitals have eye care clinics. If your hospital does not have one, call your family doctor and they will look, they might send you to an opthamologist. This is what happened to me once when we had major construction going on in our building envelope and the stuff in the air created a scratch on my eye.
If you end up going to an emergency your wait time could vary, they are not known for comfortable seating so might want to bring a cushion. If you are able to see well enough, maybe bring something to read. You will be seen by a doctor then will take a look at your eye with their eyes or with special equipment.
You might have medications put in to numb the eye before they do any treatments. After any eye treatment you can feel more tired, you never know how much your sight keeps you alert. Follow the aftercare and rest when you need.
If you have not been recommended to an eye specialist I recommend you make your own appointment or ask about it directly.
When to wear eye protection
- Working with any tool that can fling debris in the eye
- Working with any chemical / substance natural or otherwise that could splash. (When I make my homemade salsa I use eye protection.)
- Working over your head with tools or substances like dust, construction or cutting wires. You’re better to wear something than to not wear anything.
- Being in the pool on a daily basis you might want good anti fog goggles; prolonged chemicals from the pool can harm your eyes.
- Welding is very key to have ones that protect in many ways.
- Extreme weather work or play/sports. Wind, blizzards, sand can affect your eyes,
- Medical workers sometimes need face and eye protection.
How to know if you have the best eye protection for the job. For my salsa I use a full coving with vents.
Welding or using an acetylene torch you will want to read the safety sheets on the best protection for your job.
There are many projects and jobs where you might want a full shield as well as safety glasses. If you are using grinders you could not only be protecting your eyes but your whole face too
Stay safe out there, get regular eye check ups or if you noted changes in your eyes or vision. Even on vacation you should be mindful of eye injuries. I’m on vacation, this is just here to help you smile.