If you have been tackling those long-put-off garden jobs during lockdown, you are definitely not alone.
The bad news is that according to the eye health experts at Specsavers, this has led to a number of people with gardening-related eye injuries needing to call their local store to ask for urgent assistance.
Advice from the experts
The good news is that the stores across Hampshire have joined forces to come up with some advice about how to keep your eyes safe while you improve your outside space.
Keeping your eyes open to hazards is really important. Even small twigs can be really dangerous when they come into contact with the eye, as they can cause anything from relatively minor scratches to painful damage to the cornea. And small objects like clothes pegs can fly into the air while you are mowing or strimming, so it is always a good idea to check the area concerned before you start work.
Staying safe outdoors
You should also try and avoid touching your eyes as far as possible, as chemicals and even some plants can cause pain and allergic reactions.
While Specsavers stores, in line with government guidelines, have suspended routine testing for the foreseeable future, emergency and essential eye care is still available to those in need – including frontline staff and key workers. Anyone requiring emergency advice should call their local store.
Giles Edmonds, clinical services director at Specsavers, said: ‘It is important that you are cautious and pay close attention when you are carrying out any activity which might lead to something going into the eye, such as chopping firewood, pruning in the garden, drilling or grinding and that suitable eye protection is worn.
‘In the event that an injury occurs, call your local Specsavers store where an optometrist will be able to discuss the best course of action with you.’