Cleaning your home is an essential part of your daily routine, but that doesn't mean it's safe. A whopping 125,000 eye injuries occur every year as a result of common household cleaning products, so it's essential to take precautions while you're cleaning. Here are three things you need to know about cleaning and your eyes.
Which cleaners are dangerous?
A wide variety of household cleaning products can cause damage to your eyes. While products like rubbing alcohol can cause transient irritation, the most dangerous products contain acids or alkalis. These products can cause severe damage.
Acidic products include cleaners that help to break down mineral deposits, rust or other difficult stains. For example, toilet bowl cleaners, tub cleaners and mold removers are acidic. Alkaline products are used to break down oils and fats and include all-purpose cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach.
What types of injuries can occur?
If you splash household chemicals in your eyes while you're cleaning, you could suffer severe chemical burns. These burns can cause a lot of damage to the structures in the front of your eye, like your cornea. Ulcers may form on your corneas, and you could even suffer from permanent vision loss. The burns can also lead to raised pressure inside your eyes, and this pressure can damage your retinas and other intraocular structures, leading to vision loss.
Since household chemicals can cause such serious eye injuries, it's important to seek emergency medical attention if you have an accident while cleaning.
How can you protect yourself?
To protect your eyes while you're cleaning, make sure to always wear appropriate eye protection. The right eye protection will prevent nine out of ten eye injuries, according to the American Association of Optometrists.
To keep chemicals out of your eyes, you'll need to wear splash goggles. Choose a pair of goggles with an anti-fog lens coating so you don't need to worry about your goggles getting fogged up while you're cleaning your home.
If you wear glasses, you can get prescription splash goggles to wear while you're cleaning, if your budget allows for the expense. If you're looking for more frugal eye protection, splash goggles that fit over top of your existing glasses are also available. These may be less comfortable, but they will still protect your eyes.
Cleaning your home can be dangerous if you're not wearing the right eye protection, so don't forget to wear your splash goggles. For more information, contact an optometrist at a location like Wheatlyn Eyecare.