April is Women's Eye Health & Safety (PBA), Sjögren's Awareness (Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation), and National Sports Eye Safety Month (AAO)
What is National Sports Eye Safety Month?
National Sports Eye Safety Month is a reminder initiated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to raise awareness about preventing sports-related eye injuries. Prevention is the key and sport-specific eye protection can save your vision. Eye protection during any activity with potential for injury can also save vision. Eye protection is more than eyeglasses but specifically safety or sports glasses.
Where can eye injuries occur?
Eye injuries can occur during any activity. One of the highest causes of eye injury is sports especially in children. But eye injuries can occur at home doing basic repairs, yard work, cooking, cleaning, working in the garage or at work, especially construction jobs. At work, know the eye safety dangers and eliminate them prior to working, especially welding or flying objects, hammering metal on metal or radiation.
Eye injuries can also be due to chemicals directly to the eye or chemical vapors, thermal injury from heat sources even curling irons accidents. For chemical exposure, rinse your eyes immediately with copious amounts of water or eyewash. UV protection is also important during sports like snow or water skiing. Bystanders, especially children, should also wear eye protection or leave the area.
It is important to see an eye physician when any eye injury occurs, even it minor. Delaying medical care can lead to vision loss or blindness.
How can I protect myself?
Every house should have ANSI Z87.1 home safety glasses. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eye protection standards exist for home and work glasses as well as OSHA standards. Look for toys labeled “ASTM” which meet standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials and purchase age-appropriate toys. ASTM has specific standards for specific sports (example: F803 for women’s lacrosse).
Keep firearms locked and out of sight. Keep children away from fireworks, bottle rockets. Secure children in age-appropriate carseats when traveling. Secure loose objects in trunk that may be projectile.
Where can I learn more?
What is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month?
Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month is an initiative sponsored by Prevent Blindness America to increase awareness of hormonal changes with age, smoking and eye health in women. In 2002, the Women’s Eye Health.org was formed as an education outreach program.
Also two thirds of those patients who are legally blind or visually impaired in the USA are women. In the USA, this is more commonly due to age-related macular degeneration, autoimmune disease and dry eye. This statistic is partially because women live longer than men. Globally, it is due to lack of access to health care, trachoma, other infections.
How can I protect myself?
Everyone, but especially women, need to remember to stop smoking, maintain healthy diet with proper nutrition and exercise to prevent obesity and diabetes related complications.
What is Sjögren's Awareness Month?
Sjögren's Awareness Month is sponsored by the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. Sjögren's Syndrome is an autoimmune syndrome with hallmark symptoms of dry eye and dry mouth as well as possible problems with fatigue, joint problems and organ dysfunction. The majority of patients are women.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is defined as eyes without a healthy layer of tears on the surface. The lack of tears can be due to lack of adequate production or rapid evaporation. The tear film is composed of 3 layers and depending on the dysfunctional layer and cause, the treatment can be tailored to the individual patient. Symptoms include blurred vision, dryness, burning, foreign body sensation, redness and even tearing. Contributing factors can include systemic autoimmune diseases, blepharitis and meibomitis, environment control, poor blink and systemic medications that can decrease tear production.
Talk to your eye physician about your eyes and the treatment that is right for you.
Everhart Eye Associates
204 Virginia Street
Ashland, Virginia 23005
Ph. 804.752.7508 | Fx. 804.798.6876
Everhart Eye Associates welcomes new patients. We serve individuals from across Virginia. For an appointment, contact us at (804) 752-7508.
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 12:00pm