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Eye injuries on the job: Get medical care fast

There is nothing quite as frightening as getting hurt with the potential of losing your sight partially or completely as a result. Depending on the field you work in, your eyes may be exposed to hazards regularly.

In construction, for example, chemicals, dust and debris pose a threat to your eyesight. Welding can create bright lights and heat that threaten your sight, too. Overall, no matter what industry you're in, your eyes could be at risk if you suffer a workplace injury.

How can you best protect your eyes against injury on the job?

The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment for the job. For example, if you will be welding, then you should wear a welding mask. If you are working with dust or flames, wearing protective eyewear that protects your eyes is essential.

It's believed that around 90 percent of all serious eye injuries could be prevented with the right protective eyewear. With such a high probability of protecting you from harm, it just makes sense to wear that gear when you're working in San Diego.

What are some common hazards to your eyes?

A few common workplace hazards include:

  • Tools
  • Flying objects
  • Chemicals
  • Particles

Remember, even if you're not working with these hazards directly, you should be wearing eye protection if you'll be near them or walking through an area where other workers are exposed to them. The kind of eye protection you need depends on the work environment, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does have regulations and information on the gear that is compliant in different situations.

Any eyewear worn in the workplace should be OSHA-compliant and meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute, abbreviated as ANSI.

What should you do if you hurt your eye at work?

The most important thing to do is to get medical care as quickly as possible. Eye injuries can worsen if the damage isn't treated right away. Not treating the injury correctly can also lead to further damage and the potential loss of your sight.

Get medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms such as:

  • Cut or torn eyelids
  • An eye that is larger than the other
  • Blood in the clear area of the eye
  • The feeling of something being stuck or lodged under the eyelid
  • One eye being unable to move in the same way as the other

Quick treatment can help prevent this injury from worsening and will give you a better chance at recovery.

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