Almost half of the 2.5 million eye injuries reported annually occur in individuals ages 18-45. The second largest age group (25%) receiving the most eye injuries are children. Even more specifically, older teens and young adults in their late twenties present the highest numbers within these groups. Of the total number of injuries, 73% of them are received by males.
Older teens and young adults receive the majority of their eye injuries from sports. The rate of injury for this group when playing sports is highest in sports like basketball, football, soccer and leisure sports (golf, tennis, bowling, etc.). Fighting and typical horsing around account for a portion of eye injuries in this age group as well. In addition, older teens generally tend to fail to pay attention to printed warnings about potential eye injury.
In addition to eye injury from sports and horsing around, young adults also receive many of their eye injuries from yard work, flying particles in a work area and from chemicals. Eye injury for women in this group also often comes from mascara wands and scratches from fingernails. In addition, young adults receive a number of eye injuries from exploding grills and fireplaces as well as from fireworks.
Older adults do not escape eye injury by any means with nearly 27% of injuries reported annually being received by individuals 46 and older. Much of the same causes of eye injury in individuals below 46 result in eye injury for those over that age, just not as many. Perhaps this is because caution increases and activity decreases with age, at least for some individuals.
There is one factor that remains constant throughout age groups and regardless of type of injury. And that factor is that the majority of ALL of these eye injuries can be prevented. The single best way to prevent eye injury, regardless of age and activity, is by wearing protective eyewear. In fact, 90% of eye injuries are preventable by wearing protective eyewear.
Fortunately, a plethora of options exist to fit every age and activity, which means few excuses exist for not wearing protective eyewear in any and every situation. There is sports eyewear, over-prescription eyewear, safety sunglasses, shooting glasses and Rx ready eyewear. Safety eyewear even exists specifically made for women and children.
For individuals needing safety eyewear for multiple situations, there’s convertible safety eyewear and multi-lens safety eyewear too. From motorcycle eyewear to safety goggles, the options available really eliminate excuses that sometimes seem to cross age and gender lines.
Eye injury, while more prevalent in some age groups over others, really does not have an age or gender bias. For this reason, both men and women regardless of age can do the one thing that will start to reduce that 2.5 million eye injuries per year… wear protective eyewear!