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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Don’t Lose Sight of Protecting Your Vision

Posted By: Advancing Care

While most people assume that eye trauma is more common for people working in factories or on construction sites, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) report that 40 percent of eye injuries happen during home repairs, yard work, cooking and cleaning.

Abha Amin, MD
Abha Amin, MD

Abha Amin, MD, an ophthalmologist and section chief of Complex Anterior Segment Surgery at Westchester Medical Center, sees one to two patients a week during landscaping season with severe eye injuries caused by flying debris from hedge cutters, string trimmers and similar tools. The most common injury Dr. Amin encounters: a fragment of metal or wood stuck on the surface of the eye or puncturing the eye.

“The second a foreign object enters the eye, it can cause immediate vision loss,” she says. “Usually these injuries result in emergency surgery and follow-up repairs, but your eyes are never the same after that kind of trauma — it’s a devastating loss that can be prevented.”

The AAO and ASOT found that over 78 percent of people who experienced eye trauma were not wearing protective eyewear when the injury happened. Dr. Amin encourages everyone who works outside and around the home, especially when using power tools, to wear eye protection that covers the front and sides of your eyes. “Whether you work in landscaping or construction, or you’re doing work on your own yard and house, you should always protect your eyes before it’s too late.”

It’s important to wear protective eyewear even if you wear prescription glasses. “You can purchase goggles that fit over your glasses or you can ask your ophthalmologist about prescription protective eyewear. It’s worth the monetary cost to save your vision,” says Dr. Amin. “There are also types of protective eyewear that are meant for outdoor use and have a tint for sun protection, so you don’t have to worry about wearing sunglasses underneath.”

Dr. Amin and her family are passionate about educating everyone on the importance of protective eyewear. Her 15-year-old daughter has even started to raise money to buy protective eyewear for people who work outside with equipment, like landscapers and contractors, who may lack access or awareness of safety glasses.

“People who experience eye trauma are permanently affected by damage to or loss of their eyesight,” says Dr. Amin. “We want to raise awareness about eye trauma and protection and see if we can help. Preventing even one eye injury can protect someone’s health, their quality of life and their career.”

State-of-the-Art Therapies for Your Vision

If you sustain an injury to your eye your vision may be in peril and it is important for you to get to the nearest emergency department for initial care.

WMCHealth’s Advanced Eye Specialty Services has office locations in Westchester and Ulster counties. If you’re concerned about your eye health schedule a vision consultation with a WMCHealth eye specialist by calling 914.313.EYES (3937) or visit our website to review our extensive eye health services.