19 April 2018
Did you know that tiny shards of metal fly off hammers as fast as bullets? And if a strimmer hits a pebble, it can send it travelling up to 300mph in any direction. Mr Luke Herbert, consultant ophthalmologist, sees several patients a year, especially in the summer time, who have suffered a severe eye injury or even lost the sight in one eye because of a gardening or DIY accident.
“If you pick up a hammer or strimmer in one hand, you should pick up a pair of googles in the other,” he says. “If strimming, it is not just the person using the machinery who is at risk, but anyone standing nearby. I once had to remove a piece of snail shell from a man’s eye that had been standing near his colleague who was strimming.”
If your eye is hit by something, don’t wait to see if it gets better by itself - urgent medical attention could save your sight.
- Put on goggles before hammering or using rotary garden equipment.
- Even if you wear spectacles, you should still wear goggles or safety glasses.
- Don’t stand near someone who is strimming, although the safest place will be behind the person rather than to the side.
- Go to A&E immediately if your eye suddenly hurts or becomes itchy. Do not rub it or use eye drops. Early treatment, including surgery, could save the sight.
- If a chemical, such as barbecue cleaner, sprays in your eye, hold your head under a running tap to flush out the liquid. If the eye is still sore afterwards, go to A&E.
Did you know? Over exposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. But you don’t have to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays - any glasses, such as prescription spectacles, will provide protection, also a wide brimmed hat will protect your eyes from the sun’s rays.
Advice from Mr Luke Herbert, consultant ophthalmologist at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital. Call on 01293 778906 to find out more.