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5 Common Household Items that Can Lead to Blindness

by Damion Wasylow 15 October 2020 11:32 AM

assorted household cleaners
While home is where we should feel safest of all, surprising dangers can potentially lead to serious injuries, including blindness. The typical household is host to numerous hazards that could negatively affect your vision. Awareness of these potential threats coupled with simple precautions can help reduce your family’s risks.

Here are five common household items that can lead to blindness…


If you were to count up all the cleaning solutions, detergents, polishes, stain removers, pest products, lawn treatments and automotive fluids in your home, you would find dozens of chemicals with hazardous implications. When improperly used or contacted, many of these chemicals can damage your eyes, and in some cases, cause blindness. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year. Read labels carefully and follow instructions when using any household chemical.

Lawn Equipment

Lawn equipment is unforgiving when it comes to eye trauma. With sharp blades spinning at thousands of RPMs, lawn mowers can do direct harm and launch dangerous debris. One study estimated there are 3,300 lawn mower related eye injuries each year. The most common forms of resulting eye injury are hyphema – pooling of blood between the cornea and iris, angle recession – elevated eye pressure due to impaired drainage, and traumatic retinopathy – a form of retina damage. Untreated, all three can result in blindness. Ensure all lawn equipment is functioning properly before use and wear eye protection at all times.

Power Tools

Using power tools is another activity that puts your eyes at risk of flying debris. Sawing, drilling, sanding and grinding send wood and metal shavings speeding through the air. Depending on the size, shape and material of these particles, they can cause irritation at least, and at worst, serious eye trauma. The AAO’s Eye Injury Snapshot reported that 25% of eye injuries are due to home repair or power tools. Always wear proper eye protection to help keep your eyes safe.

Sports Equipment

Like the examples above, when it comes to sports equipment, the risk comes less from the equipment itself, and more from lack of precautions while using it. U.S. emergency rooms treat nearly 30,000 sports-related eye injuries each year. Baseball, hockey, lacrosse and racquet sports have relatively high rates of blunt trauma eye injuries, which among other impacts, can damage or detach the optic nerve, leading to permanent blindness. In basketball football and soccer, eye injuries often result from an inadvertent finger poke. This can cause blood to pool over the pupil or iris, again presenting a risk for blindness. Protective eyewear can prevent an estimated 90% of serious eye injuries.

Sparklers and Fireworks

While sparklers and fireworks may not be common items in the home year-round, they are a huge risk. Sparklers burn at roughly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, firing dangerous sparks in all directions. Fireworks send hot shrapnel hurling through the air. A study by the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission found an estimated 15% of all sparkler and fireworks related injuries were to the eyes. 5% of these victims lose all functional vision. Children are particularly at risk, with children under 15-years-old accounting for 36% of all firework injuries. Sparklers and fireworks are always dangerous, but wearing eye protection can limit some of the risks.

The common thread among all these household dangers is that taking proper precautions can help to limit your risk. At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, we want the very best for you and your eyes, so you can enjoy quality vision for a lifetime. So, please be sure to use proper eyewear for the task at hand, and if you need prescription eye protection, we can certainly help. 

Contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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