Whatever you are doing, it is important that you take the right steps to protect your eyes and look after your sight. The eyes can be very vulnerable, and failing to take appropriate eye safety steps can mean that you are putting yourself at risk of suffering irreparable damage. Keep your eyes safer by reducing the likelihood of injury by taking the following safety precautions.
If you intend to go out in bright sunshine, you should buy and wear good quality sunglasses. This applies in both beach environments and snowy environments. Wearing sunglasses helps to protect the eyes against harmful UV rays from the sun.
There are different categories of sunglasses available, which provide a different level of tinting and filtration of light. Even when you are wearing the strongest sunglasses, you should never look directly at the sun. It is also worth noting that you may not be allowed to wear certain categories of sunglasses whilst you are driving. If you buy new sunglasses, you should always ensure that they have earned British Standard approval.
Tools, Equipment and Chemicals
It is very important that you wear suitable protective eyewear when you are using welding tools or other tools which may cause splinters, sparks or shrapnel. Without protective eyewear such as goggles, sparks or shrapnel could easily fly up into your eyes and cause damage. Even small pieces of debris in your eye can cause serious irritation and may affect your vision. They can be very hard to remove, so it is best to take steps to prevent these substances from getting into your eyes in the first place. When welding or using tools that produce sparks, you are also advised to wear tinted goggles to prevent the high intensity light from damaging your retinas.
Always wear goggles when you are pouring or mixing chemical substances. It is also important that you wash your hands thoroughly after using these substances, because it reduces the risk of you accidentally transferring any of these substances to your eyes after use.
If you regularly use a VDU (visual display unit), you should make sure that you take regular breaks, to allow your eyes to rest. Your office should be set up in such a way that you can avoid looking at screens if need be. If you are always looking at any VDU, rather than being able to rest your eyes for a short amount of time, you may develop eye strain.
If you are employed, it is the responsibility of your employer to ensure that you have enough free space around your screen to ensure that this is possible. The surface of the screen should also be positioned between 33cm and 100cm from your eyes for optimal eye comfort and safety. Being closer or further away than this could cause issues. UK legislation states that if you need to use a VDU as part of your job, then they must make provisions for you to be able to have regular eye exams.
Although most sports do not put your eyes at additional risk, some sporting disciplines do recommend that players take extra precautions to protect their eyes. For example, many high speed cyclists choose to wear a visor or wraparound glasses to protect their eyes from dirt, insects or the wind blast which may be felt when moving at speed. Likewise, sports like American football, lacrosse and ice hockey often require players to wear a helmet with shield or visor. As well as protecting the eyes, this equipment protects the rest of the head.
Always talk to an expert about the provisions available in your chosen sport.