Preventing Eye Injuries

Any activity where something is flying at the eye puts the eye at risk for an injury. Over one million people suffer eye injuries each year in the United States. Almost 50% of these accidents occur at home and over 90% of them could have been prevented.

Minor injuries to the cornea — the clear, protective covering over the front of the eye — can be quite painful. A corneal abrasion is a scratch. Appropriate treatment may include an antibiotic drop or ointment and an eye patch for comfort. Sand or other particles can stick to the cornea. Such foreign bodies may be removed with a moistened Q-tip, usually by a doctor. Do not rub the eye.

Regular prescription glasses or contact do not protect eyes from injury. Some glasses and some types of contact lenses shatter if the eye is hit. People who play sports and wear prescription glasses can have special glasses or prescription goggles made.