Permanent vision loss can happen in the blink of an eye

More than two million people visit the nation's emergency departments each year because of eye injuries or eye infections.


WASHINGTON, -- Some of these problems cause damage that can never be reversed. Emergency physicians want every American to practice good eye health in order to decrease that risk.


Quick eye statistics:


• About 2.4 million eye-related visits were made to emergency departments each year, according to the CDC.

• Each day, about 2,000 workers in the United States receive eye injuries that need medical treatment.

• More than 600,000 eye injuries are related to sports and recreation,with about 42,000 of these requiring emergency care, according to The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries

• More than 90 percent of all eye injuries can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear, according to the organization Prevent Blindness America.

• Americans make about 930,000 visits to doctor's offices and other clinics each year because of eye infections (CDC).


There are a number of ways that injuries to the eye can occur. A few examples include:


• A corneal abrasion or a scratched eye can happen when an eye is poked, rubbed with a foreign object or if something like sand or dust gets in and causes a scratch. Minor cases can cause eye redness and sensitivity to light.

• If a foreign object penetrates your eye, such as metal — you should visit the ER or a physician's office immediately. Also, try not to remove the object yourself or rub it as it can cause more damage to your eye.

• A chemical burn can cause damage to your eye, not to mention cause extreme pain. If a chemical is splashed in the eye, put your head under a stream of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes and let water run into your eye, then go immediately to the ER or a physician's office for additional treatment. (SOURCE: American College of Emergency Physicians, ACEP)


Photo: Fotolia





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