Apart from workshops and playgrounds, the kitchen is where you stand at a greater risk of getting your eye injured. There are a number of potential threats in the kitchen such as sharp objects and irritants that pose a risk of eye injury. So, you need to work safely when in the kitchen to prevent eye injuries.
Here is an interesting read about tips for eye safety while in the kitchen.
1) Wash your hands after every task
When in the kitchen, you have to handle a number of items such as cooking oil, spices, cleaning chemicals, etc. If you touch your eyes after handling any one of these items, you will irritate your eyes. As a result, you may experience pain, tearing, redness, and even temporary vision blurriness.
Spices such as peppers contain a fiery oil known as capsaicin (which is used to make pepper spray). To avoid this, make sure that you wash your hands with soap or cleaning lotion every time you finish cutting down veggies and spices or after preparing any food.
Also, avoid rubbing the eyes further if you have already caused irritation by touching them with your hands. Instead, splash water into the eyes to flush out the irritants. Wearing gloves while working with foods and other items that pose eye irritation risk is another good way to ensure the safety of your eyes.
2) Hot oil and other cooking liquids in the eyes
You are always at the risk of eye injury while preparing food. For instance, hot cooking oil or cooking liquids such as gravy may splatter onto your eyes while cooking a meal. Such hot liquids can blister or burn the eyes, and as a result, you may experience extreme pain, vision blurriness, and redness.
In case of such scenario, wash your eyes to flush out the oil or cooking liquid. Don’t use anti-irritation eye drops as they can cause more redness and/or irritation. If the pain and irritation persists, see an eye care professional immediately.
Wearing safety glasses while cooking would be uncommon, but is definitely helpful in ensuring the safety of your eyes. One good way to avoid hot oils getting into your eyes is to cover the dishes with the pan lid.
3) Eye injury risks with sharp culinary tools
Culinary tools such as knives, forks, sporks, scissors, corkscrew, and can openers pose the risk of eye injuries. So, you should be extra careful while working with these culinary tools. Your children are at more risk of eye injuries from these culinary tools as they can be playful in the kitchen.
Eye injuries caused by such culinary tools can involve serious cuts, bruises, eye inflammation, vision blurriness, irritation, and redness. To take safety precautions, consider covering such culinary tools, or make sure that you buy the ones that come with safety covers. You can even store these culinary items in a specific area in the kitchen and mark them as hazardous. This way, you can prevent your kids from playing with these tools.
4) Don’t use any food as medicines
According to age-old myths, there are some foods which you can use as medicines to treat your eyes from several problems. From a scientific point of view, this is not true and instead, is risky for the eyes.
Such myths include curing pinkeye with tea and changing the eye colour with honey. These practices are harmful to the eyes as introducing any foreign substance into the eyes can create a number of problems such as irritation, redness, blurry vision, infection, and even allergy.
If you use food products for cosmetic purpose on the skin around your eyes, make sure that you don’t get them in your eyes.
5) Falls and eye injuries
When in the kitchen you’re at risk of falls and you may end up with eye injuries. Items in the kitchen such as open cabinets, liquid spills on the floor, and loose rugs pose tripping hazard.
Young children and the elderly are at a greater risk of eye injuries from falls. There are instances when you rush in the kitchen while cooking for the guests in the home. In such case, you may trip and fall and cause injury to your eyes. To avoid this, make sure that you make your kitchen a safe environment before you start working not just for yourself, but also for the elderly and children in your home.
Make sure that you keep the kitchen floor clutter-free, wipe off oil spills immediately, and don’t keep rugs in the kitchen or even if you do, make sure that it’s not loose or slippery.
6) Take precautions while cutting onions
It’s a common scenario in the kitchen to cause irritation to the eyes while cutting onions. Fortunately, there are several ways how you can avoid this. First off, make sure that you chill or freeze the onions prior to cutting them. The compounds that irritate the eyes release into the air at a warm temperature. The release of these tear-inducing chemicals can be lowered by keeping the onions at a lower temperature.
Another way to avoid irritation in your eyes cost by onions is to store them in water for at least 3 to 4 hours prior to cutting them. The tear-inducing compounds will get mixed with water and thus will not release when you cut them. You can also be extra careful by putting on safety glasses while cutting onions.
7) Risk of eye injuries from sleep deprivation and alcohol abuse
There are people who enjoy drinking while preparing food in the kitchen. If you are one of those, then you are at a greater risk of getting your eyes injured by being reckless while working with sharp utensils and culinary tools. When you drink and cook, you can also put others at risk.
Similarly, you can put yourself at a greater risk of eye injuries when you’re spending time in the kitchen while being sleep deprived. Your response time to accidents such as hitting your head in an open cabinet or slipping on the floor can get delayed when you are sleep deprived.
8) Steak and black eyes
There is a myth that you should put a raw steak take on a black eye to cure it. This is totally not safe for your eyes as raw meat contains organisms which can cause severe infection. In case you have a black eye, use ice packs to relieve the pain. Or if it’s severe, consult an eye care professional.
9) Risk of eye injuries with cleaning products
Cleaning products such as chemical cleaners, bleaches, and varnishes can cause serious injuries such as inflammation, irritation, redness, blurry vision, and even blindness in some cases. Such cleaning products contain harmful chemicals and pose a great risk of serious eye injuries.
In case cleaning products get into your eyes and cause irritation, rinse your eyes with water thoroughly. Apart from you, your children are also at a high risk of getting their eyes injured from cleaning products. To avoid this, make sure that you are extra careful while working with it. Also, keep the cleaning products out of reach of children.
10) Label all the items in your kitchen
One of the best ways to avoid eye and other injuries with the elderly and children in your kitchen is to label items as safe and hazardous. For instance, label cleaning products, spices, and sharp culinary tools as risky (probably with a warning sign). This way, the elderly and children can stay safe from eye and other injuries.
11) Use durable and leak-proof food containers
There may be a scenario where you might drop spices or other food items in your face and eyes while reaching out to a container on the top shelf. To avoid such cases, make sure that you always store spices and other food items in containers that are durable, leak-proof, and have lids that are sealable.
12) Risk of eye injuries from steam
Steam can cause severe eye injuries such as irritation, redness, blurry vision, and inflammation. You stand at a higher risk of getting your eyes injured from steam while preparing dishes such as rice and dal.
Make sure that you keep a distance while letting out the steam. You can even wear safety glasses while doing so. Avoid staying near to the cooking pot while letting the steam out.
13) Risk of eye injuries from insect repellent
Most people keep repellents such as sprays to ward off mouse and insects from the kitchen premises. Although this is good hygiene practice, insect and mouse repellents pose risks of eye injuries.
Such repellents contain harmful chemicals which, if comes in contact with the eyes, can cause serious injuries such as irritation, blurry vision, inflammation, redness, and even infection. Make sure that you wear protection such as gloves, masks, and safety eyeglasses while using the repellents. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after using repellents as you don’t want to touch your eyes with the contaminated hands.
Get your eye health checked
Are you concerned regarding your eye health? If yes, then get your eyes checked thoroughly with our eye care experts at Disha Eye Hospital.