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Get Eye Smart -- Outdoors and Indoors

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The ability to see and experience the world around us is undoubtedly one of the most precious gifts nature has given to us. Unfortunately, unexpected situations brought up during sports, office work, home life could rob us of this priceless gift.

The good news is that our eyes can be protected against some common but potential dangers such as sports injuries, home appliances, caustic chemicals, extensive computer usage, cigarette smoke and other pollutants, firecrackers, and partial solar eclipses.

Here are tips to remind us of what we can do to reduce such incidences.

Sports Injuries:

Games with the potential of contact come with inherent injury risks. So sports such as squash, badminton, handball and table tennis etc could result in eye injuries leading to damages of retina, cornea or eye socket.

Cases often come to medical centers with fractures of the eye socket, retinal detachments and scratched cornea that have been incurred during some sports. In some cases the injury is serious enough to lead to potential permanent loss of sight.

Fortunately, wearing protective eye wear during such sport activities could save us and our children from possible harm. Trusted brands using polycarbonate, clear or tinted lenses could be chosen for eye safety. Those who wear corrective glasses could opt for contact lenses during sport activities if they are educated in how to wear, handle and care for them. (1)

Home Safety - Appliances and Chemicals:

Though our homes are supposed to be safe havens for us, they hide some of the most potent objects that if handled carelessly could hurt our vision. Among them are detergents, bleaches, stain removers, aerosols, scissors, clothes hangers, knives, forks, garden shovels, and rakes.

PreventBlindnessAmerica.com reports that approximately 125,000 eye injuries occur involving household products (2). Use of gardening tools or those that involve the use of nails, sawing, axing and welding welding tools should be preceded by eye protection. Safety goggles which are certified by American National Standards Institute could be a good choice.

After finishing with the usage of cleaning, bleaching, stain-removing products, one would stand in good stead by washing their hands so that the eyes are not touched with the remains of the cleaning product still on the fingers. Such products should also be kept away from the reach of children. Similarly, sharp objects such as screwdrivers, nails, scissors, forks, knives should be kept at a place where the children cannot reach them.

Partial Solar Eclipses:

As per the U.K. government's Interim Chief Medical, Dame Sally Davies, it is not safe to look directly at the sun with naked or unprotected eyes even for a few seconds during a partial solar eclipse.

It can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the vision and may even cause blindness. Children are a vulnerable population who may accidentally look at the sun while outdoors at such a time.

Ordinary telescopes, sunglasses, binoculars or cameras are not safe either. The safest way to go about it is to watch it on television or as live webcasts on the internet. If we must watch it first-hand, it is advised we use a filter specifically designed for the purpose of observing eclipses and is approved by the regions health department keeping in mind consumer safety and environmental requirements. (3)


1. 'Suit up' the eyes for sports safety; Your Home Town Voice; September, 2011

2. Eye Safety At home; Prevent Blindness America; September, 2011 http://www.preventblindness.org/eye-safety-home

3. Partial Solar Eclipse Eye Safety Warning; Medical News Today; September, 2011


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books

Migraines for the Informed Woman – Tips From A Sufferer: ISBN: 978-81-291-1517-1
(Publisher: Rupa & Co. URL: http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298990756&sr=1-2)

Mentor Your Mind – Tested Mantras For The Busy Woman: ISBN: 978-81-207-5973-2
(Publisher: Sterling Publishers; URL: http://www.amazon.com/Mentor-Your-Mind-Tested-Mantras/dp/8120759737/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316063179&sr=8-1)

and the upcoming The Urban Woman’s Integrated Fitness Guide
(Publisher: Hay House India)

She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites.

She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Please visit www.mamtasingh.com

Reviewed October 11, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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