The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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Health & Fitness

July 27, 2013

Protect your eyes, window to the soul

“The eyes are the window to the soul.” While scientific evidence may not back this proverbial statement, it alludes to the fact that eyes are very important. Your eyes are responsible for providing you with vision, perhaps the most important of the senses. However, the eye is a delicate and complicated structure that needs protection. The ugly truth is that eye injuries can happen at any time and place – not just at work. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly half of all eye injuries occur at home.

Fortunately, taking preventive measures will help you avoid eye injuries, and understanding when to seek medical care can improve prognosis and aid in recovery. Here are some tips to help you keep your eyes safe:

1. Prevention

* Wear appropriate eye protection. Though there isn’t a need to wear safety goggles every waking moment, there are certain activities that require eye protection. Always wear a form of eye protection while playing sports that involve a ball, flying object, racquet, stick or bat. Also, wear safety goggles with side shields when working on or being exposed to projects where chemicals, dust, flying objects or airborne particles are present.

* Cook with care. Utilize grease shields when cooking to help prevent grease and oil splatters.

* Avoid at-home fireworks. Fireworks are fun and quite the spectacle, but professionals should handle them.

* Be mindful of household chemicals. Many cleaning products pose a risk for eye injury and irritation. Read the labels carefully, keep chemicals away from your kids and never mix cleaning products.

* Reduce falls in your home. Falling on a table corner or furniture edge can cause severe trauma to your head, including your eyes. Make sure your railings and rugs are secure to help reduce falls. Additionally, think about covering sharp corners and edges with some form of cushioning.

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