DIDN’T SEE IT COMING ON SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY
As we move into the summer season many people are excited to finally put away those winter coats and head outdoors. Spring yardwork is in full force and we’re busy cleaning up the yard so it looks nice and is ready to enjoy for summer entertaining.
It happens all too often that I receive a call from a frantic patient that needs to be seen ASAP. They have been poked or jabbed in the eye by a stray branch, caught by a pesky rock in the face while doing some much needed weed whacking or have scratched their eye with flying dust from the leaf blower.
By being proactive about eye health, you can help prevent eye injuries. These injuries can hinder your ability to enjoy the warm summer days playing golf and nights that could be spent around a campfire. There are simple steps that can be taken to avoid those accidents that you just didn’t see coming.
One misconception that people have is that you must wear safety glasses to protect your eyes which many people find bulky and cumbersome or unfashionable. While it is important to wear safety glasses or goggles for some outdoor activities it is not always necessary for everything. By simply wearing a pair of sunglasses you protect your eyes in several ways.
First the sunglasses help with just general yard work to prevent foreign objects such as a stray branch from entering the eye. They also help to prevent eye damage from the sun. Even on days when it is overcast or not extremely bright you still receive ultraviolet rays from the sun. By wearing sunglasses you help to prevent these rays from doing damage to the eye in the same way that sunscreen helps to prevent your skin from being burned.
As you move on to the heavier yard work such as mowing the grass, weed whacking, or cutting and splitting logs for your campfires it is a good idea to switch to safety glasses. The biggest different between regular eye glasses or even sun glasses and safety glasses is that regular glasses are not rated for high impact object as safety glasses are.
When I recommend safety glasses to my patients they usually look at me and roll their eyes as they think that I am referring to those biology goggles that I’m sure you (like many others) had when you were in high school. Many of them however are surprised to learn that many safety goggles or glasses today are modeled after fashionable sunglasses being tinted so they also help to block out the sun. Often, you are unable to tell the difference between safety sunglasses and regular sunglasses.
So next time you head out the door to do some yard work make sure to grab the sunscreen and reach those sunglasses or even a pair of safety sunglasses to help protect your eyes. You will be glad you did when that stray branch appears out of nowhere and bounces off of your glasses only giving you a momentary sting but doesn’t send you running for the optometrist’s chair.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.