Health Matters: I Spy with My Little Eye: Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

By Sara Beldon, APRN, CNP

*Sara Beldon, APRN, CNP, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, serving patients at Mercy Health – Sheffield Primary Care.

I spy with my little eye something blue! I spy with my little eye Mercy Health providing helpful resources during eye injury prevention month!

Often overlooked, eye health is very important to everyone’s overall quality of life. Injuries to the eye can be quite detrimental. However, eye injuries are easily preventable, making it important to stay on top of common risk factors.

Most eye injuries include foreign object entering the eyes, including glass, sand, gravel, boiling water or oil and hazardous chemicals. This type of eye injury is the most preventable because of the steps you can take to protect your eyes in hazardous conditions, especially in working conditions where flying foreign objects is common.

Other related eye injuries are caused by blunt force traumas. This what we think of when an athlete is hit in the head by a basketball or a baseball. Impact sports like football and wrestling are also places in which blunt force trauma can occur.

In workplaces or hazardous conditions, the best course of action is to wear a pair of eye goggles or protective glasses. Depending on the sport, protective eye goggles may be useful.

One misconception is that most eye injuries happen in the workplace or during the day, when the vast majority of eye injuries happen at home. Over 2,000 eye injuries happen every day.

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Proactive steps are the best way to prevent eye injuries. Here is a list of how you can keep your eyes in tip-top shape:

  • Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Eat healthy foods; diets in rich fruits and vegetables can boost eye health.
  • Quit smoking; nicotine increases the risk for conditions such as cataracts.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes and other conditions that increase your risk for glaucoma and other eye illnesses.

What to Do in Case of Eye Injury
In nearly all cases, calling 911 is the best option in the rcase of a serious eye injury. If a blow to the eye occurs, apply a cold compress, and take pain medication to reduce pain. If persistent pain, bleeding, or bruising occurs, call a doctor.

Regular eye checkups with a licensed eye doctor are the best way to keep your eyes in the best shape they can be. It’s important to get your eyes checked at least once a year to determine vision changes, as well as to catch major eye illnesses, such as glaucoma and other eye diseases, in their earliest stages – which is the time in which these illnesses are most treatable.

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