January is a time for new beginnings; especially if those include your eyes. After all, January is also national eye health awareness month. And if you frequently neglect your baby blues, just remember – we only get two.
In fact, several everyday and recreational activities can cause injury to the eyes. Many workplaces expose employees to chemicals, airborne particles and toxic substances. Read up on OSHA guidelines to ensure that your workplace is safe, and use eye and face protection whenever working with hazardous substances.
And if you’re driving to work, your eyes are again at risk. Those air bags that save so many lives can also damage your eyes. Avoid corneal abrasions by sitting at least 10 inches from the steering wheel and adjusting your headrest for proper support.
Think your household is safe from potentially eye-closing dangers? Not so. Laser pointers, common around the home, classroom or office, can cause temporary vision loss and/or permanent retinal damage. Keep laser pointers out of children’s reach and never look directly into the light.
If you’re popping the bubbly, be careful. Those champagne corks can “pop” with a force strong enough to rupture an eye or detach a retina. And if your celebration includes fireworks as well, take double caution; 25 percent of firework-related injuries involved the eyes. Never let children play with fireworks, and make sure you’re viewing them from at least 500 feet away.
Here’s to your blues – and keeping them safe this January, and throughout the year.