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Household dangers for your eyes

By editor
June 5, 2016

Today we wanted to talk about all those dangers that your eyes can be exposed to right there at your home.  Even if you are not going anywhere and staying in the most comfortable place on earth - your home, your eyes can still be exposed to risks and injuries.

Household chemicals

We use them every day, and the most often used are:

  • Dishwasher Detergents
  • Various Cleaner liquids for kitchen, bathrooms, carpets, upholstery and tile
  • Detergents and Bleach for washing clothes.

Other less used chemicals are ammonia, polishes and varnishes, glues and sealants.  Even air fresheners that are supposed to make you feel better, contain harmful chemicals.  Most air fresheners interfere with your ability to smell by deadening your olfactory senses with an oil film or a numbing agent.

Bleach is a strong corrosive that can damage the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia, as the fumes can be deadly.

Those agents often contain chlorine, strong solvents, acids, carcinogens, and other materials that are corrosive, toxic, flammable, or irritants.  These chemicals can burn skin and eyes, and the esophagus and stomach if ingested.  These chemicals can even be absorbed through skin. When using any household chemicals, use them in a well ventilated space, do not lean over exposed chemicals avoiding breathing the fumes or splashing into your face, use appropriate gloves (rubber or another materials that does not disintegrate or dissolve when in contact with solvents or acids); protect your eyes from splashes using protective goggles; protect your clothing, avoid spills or quickly wipe and clean them; store away and protect children and pets from reaching the chemicals.

Needles - When sewing or embroidering, and pulling a needle through a tough fabric, take care not to point the needle towards your eyes or face - if a needle becomes loose when you do not expect it, you may jerk your arm that holds the needle toward your face.  Always point the needle away from your face.

Power tools - Many injuries happen every year when power tools are used by the people who do not use them on the regular basis.  Because we use power tools only on occasion, we need to be especially vigilant about safety.  We do not have a day to day experience using power tools, thus before using those tools, we need to think through the project that requires a power tool, think about safety and precautions, think what can go wrong and how to prevent that from happening.

Cleaning and scrubbing - when scrubbing dirty surfaces, you can dislodge chips and pieces of dirt and other material and send them flying into your face.  Avoid being too close to the surfaces you scrub or wear safety glasses.

Food items (vinegar, alcohol in liqueur) - Some food items that we often ingest could be harmful if splashed into the eyes, or even ingested in a high concentration form.  Keep your face pointed away when poring vinegar or alcohol, just like you would with household chemicals, to avoid splashing in your eyes.

Hot liquids and foods - When cooking or frying - beware of splashes of hot liquids or oil from your food, lean away as much as possible so that droplets of hot food do not reach your face or eyes.

Steam from rice cooker - Do not lean over the rice cooker.  The lid has an opening for steam.  Hot steam escapes in a single strong stream upwards and can severely damage your eyes or burn your face.

We hope this summary reminds you of the good household practices that you probably heard before, and helps you and your eyes to stay healthy and avoid an emergency room.


Eye Glasses, Ophthalmology


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