Sawdust: A Danger To Optical Health

Some amateur woodworkers may not understand the dangers that their pastime poses to their eyes. While flying debris is perhaps the largest danger to your optical health, sawdust can turn into its own serious problem. Understanding why you need to protect your eyes against sawdust can help you avoid unnecessary trips to an optometrist.

Sawdust is Dangerous

It's easy to overlook the dangers of sawdust. How could something so small offer any real health risk? That small size is deceptive when wood dust takes to the air; though it is nearly impossible to see, it's always there.

As a result, it's easy to both inhale sawdust or get it in your eyes. Although inhaling sawdust causes serious problems, it is easy to block by wearing a dust mask or respirator. However, sawdust can still pose a serious danger to the sensitive areas of your eye, dangers which grow more insidious if left untreated.

Dust Can Cause Corneal Abrasions

Objects that can under your eye lids cause irritation and, if left in place, can scratch your eye. These scratches, known as corneal abrasions, are an extremely painful condition. If enough sawdust gets under your eyelid, it can contribute to extreme eye irritation and corneal abrasions.

The quickest way to treat this problem is immediately remove the offending object by flushing your eye with water. Other treatments include forcing your eye to tear up or visiting a highly trained ophthalmologist to get the object carefully removed via in-patient surgery.

Corneal Abrasions Can Worsen

While corneal abrasions are not a serious enough concern on their own, they can degenerate into a series of more serious problems. These complications are fairly rare, but can occur if the abrasion is left untreated.

Corneal abrasion complications include:

  • Blepharospasm or eye spasms
  • Red eyes
  • Extreme eye pain
  • Photophobia or extreme sensitivity to light

Most of these conditions will require attention from an optometrist or ophthalmologist to repair. However, things simply don't have to get to that level, because proper eye protection is easily available.

Safety Goggle Can Stop All of That

The best way to protect your eyes from sawdust is with a pair of safety goggles. Even if you're creating small woodworking projects and cutting with hand-powered tools, a pair of safety goggles is essential for keeping the sawdust out of your eyes. Safety goggles also protect your eyes by blocking larger wood chips, sparks, and UV light from your eyes.

If your eyes are suffering from sawdust related irritation or abrasions, call your preferred ophthalmologist, such as Blink Eyewear, to set up an examination. And then buy a pair of safety goggles to avoid again becoming a victim of this problem.