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Protect your sight

December 2, 2015

“If I had my safety goggles on, I wouldn’t have gone through this trauma.”

In May this year, Robert was helping a friend build a fence when his world turned upside-down.

“I hit a roofing screw into a timber post, and the screw rebounded off a knot in the wood and hit me straight in the eye — splitting my eye ball open,” Robert recalls.

“Instantly I couldn’t see out of it. There was no pain, it just felt really watery.”

Robert rushed to his local optometrist who immediately referred him on to the Eye and Ear, knowing he would receive specialist care.

Due to the jagged nature of the laceration, Robert required three different operations. His eyesight has improved, however Robert needs to wear glasses for 20-20 vision.

Emergency Department Director Dr Carmel Crock says eye safety is imperative when undertaking any form of DIY activity.

“Robert was very lucky; it could have been much more serious,” Dr Crock says.

“We need to convince people to think about their eye care the same way they think about seatbelts. There is no way you would get in a car without putting your seatbelt on, similarly when we are doing DIY work around the house — anything involving chemicals, power tools or garden tools — we need to put our safety goggles on straight away, every single time.”

Robert is extremely grateful for the care he received at the Eye and Ear.

“All of the surgeons and doctors gave me a lot of strength, the way talked to me and the way they dealt with my injury — both sympathetically and by having a positive outlook — was really encouraging,” Robert says.

Robert urges everyone to use the appropriate eye protection.

“If I had my goggles on my eyes instead of where I had them on my head, this all would have been prevented. For that split second I thought ‘nah I’ll be OK’ it has cost me a great deal — my health, financially and emotionally.

“The importance of wearing safety goggles is 100 per cent, it has to be all the time and every time you are working with any dangerous materials.”