Eye Injury Prevention Month...a closer look

TOLEDO, Ohio (July 17, 2017) -- Motorsports Safety Group, in conjunction with the ARCA Safety Initiative presented by G-Force Racing Gear, wants to remind all ARCA drivers, teams and fans that July is Eye Injury Prevention Month. Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the most basic things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life.

Dr. Jason Cormier, founder of Motorsports Safety Group, asks this simple question, "You may be somewhat aware of the possible risks of eye injuries, but are you taking the easiest step of all to prevent 90 percent of those injuries…wearing the proper protective eyewear?”

If you are not taking this step, you are not alone. According to a national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of respondents said they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance; even fewer do so while playing sports.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one-third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days of lost work. The majority of these injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye. 

While many injuries occur at home while we are taking care of our chores like cutting the lawn, working on the family vehicle, working around the house, in the workshop, or even in the garden, most occur in a professional workplace environment. Dr. Cormier reminds us that the typical workplace for a racer is much more dangerous than the typical workplace for an average employee.

“Racing is a dangerous sport,” Dr. Cormier reminds. “Not just for drivers on the racetrack, but for crew members in the garage area, and the shop area.”

Many of the 2,000 employees who are injured each day didn’t think they needed eye protection or were wearing eyewear inappropriate for the job.

“Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting your eyes from injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention promptly,” Dr. Cormier concluded.

What to Do for a Severe Eye Injury  – This information is sited from the Health and Safety Institute (HSI)

Because they help determine facial appearance and function, traumatic injuries to the eyes, mouth and face can have significant physical and emotional effects.

Objects that penetrate the surface of the eye require immediate professional medical care. Foreign bodies propelled at high speed present the highest risk.

Activate EMS. Immediate care requires stabilization of the object and reducing additional injury. Do not allow the person to rub the eye. Never try to remove an embedded object.

For small objects, cover both eyes with loose pads. Eyes move together. Covering both eyes prevents movement of the affected eye. Stabilize larger objects with a bulky, clean pad. Cover the uninjured eye with a loose pad.

Covering both eyes can be frightening. Stay with the person and calm, comfort and reassure him or her to help reduce anxiety. Regularly assess the person until EMS arrives.

Small foreign objects on the surface of an eye will cause irritation and discomfort. Encourage the person to not rub the affected eye. Have the person blink several times to see if the eyelid or tearing can remove the object naturally. If he or she cannot, then flush the eye with tap water or saline eyewash solution. Flush outward from the nose side of the eye.

If pain continues or the person feels like something is still in the eye, cover the eye lightly with a gauze pad and seek professional medical care. If the person has been exposed to flying metal fragments (hammering, grinding, etc.), do not attempt removal. Seek professional medical care immediately.

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