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The vast majority of eye injuries are preventable provided the right precautions are taken.
Protective eyewear is essential for children and adults participating in sports or events when projectiles (balls, hockey pucks, darts, discs, firecrackers or arrows) are involved, as well as in contact sports such as wrestling. Wearing approved safety glasses, safety goggles or masks greatly reduces the risk of eye injuries. Contact lenses are not considered to be protective eyewear.
For those involved in water sports, eye goggles or a diving mask helps protect the eyes from strong pool chemicals or pollutants in water. Sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) radiation filters and polarization protect the eyes from harmful sun rays and the glare of the sun on surfaces such as water and snow.
Protection of the eyes is also important in activities such as lawn mowing and trimming, using yard chemicals and house cleaning agents, or while working with power tools. In each case, the use of protective eyewear greatly reduces the potential of eye injury by reducing the likelihood that a foreign object can enter and damage the eye. It is also important that children’s activities are supervised, as a great number of child eye injuries are related to the improper use of toys.
Many eye injuries are work-related and usually involve a person who failed to wear the necessary protection for their job, particularly at construction sites and manufacturing plants. For those who work in an office environment with a computer, eyestrain from prolonged screen viewing often leads to fatigue.