July is eye injury prevention month and even though we may think most eye injuries occur in the workplace, just as many occur in the home according to the Mayo Clinic. We thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss Senior Eye injury Prevention.  When a fall occurs in a senior’s home or in a residential care facility, one of the first things recommended is to have their eyes examined. This is because problems or injuries to the eye can cause imbalances which can result in falls.  Senior Eye injury Prevention can assist in future health problems and lead to a more fulfilling adult life.

What can we do to prevent an eye injury?

Senior Eye Injury Prevention

  • Wear protective eyewear during risky activities and make sure they have wide side shields anytime you think you might be exposed to flying particles, objects or dust. For example walking past someone mowing the lawn or cutting hedges.
  • Wear goggles when exposed to chemicals, even as a bystander. Elderly reflexes are not as sharp and getting “out of the way“ of a splash or spill may take longer, especially when using every day chemicals while cleaning or even while coloring those gray hairs.
  • Be cautious with chemicals and cleansers, never mix chemicals without reading labels thoroughly especially while using a common product like bleach.
  • Be cautious while cooking or using hot objects especially avoiding splatters of hot grease or cooking oils. And avoid using a curling iron near the eye.
  • Be aware of all sharp objects used in the kitchen, the elderly may think they still have good eye hand coordination but those with shaky hands can be a problem
  • Illuminate hazards in the home that can cause falls such as throw rugs, secure them and consider using safety gates near the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Cover sharp furniture edges with a cushy material such as the edges of the bed.
  • While celebrating that special birthday, avoid backyard fireworks and use extreme caution opening the champagne bottle.

What are the signs and symptoms of an eye injury?

Senior Eye Injury Prevention

According to the web site Prevent Blindness:
  • Obvious pain, trouble opening the eye or trouble seeing
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • One eye not moving as well as the other eye
  • One eye sticking out farther or seeming more prominent than the other
  • An unusual pupil size or shape
  • Blood in the white part of the eye
  • An object on the eye or under the eyelid that can’t easily be removed

What to do when an injury occurs:

When an eye injury occurs, please seek medical help from an ophthalmologist or another doctor as soon as possible, do not delay even if the injury seems “minor”. Delaying care could lead to permanent vision loss or blindness. And take simple steps to prevent further damage. Examples from the Federal occupational health suggests:
  • Don’t touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • Don’t try to remove an object that appears stuck on the surface of the eye or an object that appears to have penetrated the eye
  • Don’t apply ointment or medication to the eye
  • Flush out any chemicals the eye has been exposed to with plenty of clean water
  • Gently place a shield or gauze patch over the eye until you can get medical attention
  • Do not rub eyes with dirty hands

An accident can happen in a matter of seconds. Senior Eye Injury Prevention Being prepared, both through prevention and quick action in case of an emergency, can help keep you and your loved ones seeing clearly. And keep an extra look out for the elderly.

If you or someone you care about suffers from an eye injury or poor vision, don’t risk life altering injuries.  Ask for help from family first.  If family lives too far or works too often, call us to schedule a No Obligation CAREConsult™ with a Love RightCare Service Representative.

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