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On-the-job eye injuries: What you need to know
Whether you work on a construction crew or in an office, you may worry about on-the-job injuries like falls, a sprained back or damage to your hands.
But what about your eyes? Eye injuries can happen easily in just about any kind of workplace setting, but pose particular dangers to anyone working around small objects, power tools or caustic chemicals.
Far too often, injured workers try to handle what seems like minor eye injuries on their own, using things like cold compresses and ibuprofen. That can be a huge mistake. Not all eye trauma is immediately apparent, and up to 20% of people who suffer an eye injury will eventually face either a temporary or permanent loss of their vision as a result.
Some of the most severe consequences of untreated eye injuries include:
- A rupture of the eye’s globe
- Post-traumatic endophthalmitis, which is a type of inflammation
- Hyphema, or a hemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the eye
- Orbital hematoma, which can cause vision loss in just 90 minutes
- Traumatic vitreous hemorrhage, which can lead to retinal detachment
- Corneal scarring, due to undetected foreign bodies in the eye
- Chemical burns to the eye, which can lead to permanent blindness
- Lens detachment or dislocation, which can quickly destroy visual acuity
Your eyes are important, so you want to protect them. While first aid following an injury is fine, you don’t want to rely on that alone when your eyes are involved.
If you suffer an eye injury at work, take all the necessary steps to get immediate medical treatment and file a claim for workers’ compensation. If you have trouble with your claim, legal help is available.