How sawdust affects eye health?
Sawdust or wood shavings/dust that are the by-products of the operations related to tree or woodwork such as planting, milling, sawing, sanding, drilling and routing.
Why is sawdust a primary health concern?
Wood contains some natural chemicals in itself such as moulds, fungi and bacteria that are associated with many health issues when exposed to sawdust particles. Sawdust is related to many toxic effects, nose and throat, irritation of the eyes and respiratory system effects that include allergic reactions and other problems.
Occupations that are at increased risk due to sawdust exposure?
Some occupations are more prone to the risk of diseases that include:
- Construction workers
- Tree surgeons
- Construction workers
- Shipbuilding workers
- Workers employed in sawmills, cabinet making, logging, furniture etc.
It is reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that inner part of the tree such as heartwood contains the most chemicals that are associated with allergic reactions.
Symptoms of sawdust or other particles in the eye
Some of the immediate symptoms you may experience if sawdust or other foreign particle gets into your eye are:
- A feeling of discomfort or pressure
- Pain in the eye by looking at light
- Excessive blinking
- bloodshot eye or redness
- extreme tearing
- blurry vision
Complications that can be caused due to sawdust or other foreign particles into the eye
If the sawdust or other foreign particles are treated earlier, they naturally heal without causing any serious injuries. But sometimes if the problem prolongs not provided with the right care, complications may worsen for the eyes that include:
- Corneal abrasions or scratches
The cornea is the clear membrane on the front of the eye. When sawdust or other particle gets into the eye, it may injure or scratch the cornea by getting trapped in the upper eyelid. The bonus factor is that corneal abrasions are not to worry about if they are treated correctly. They heal naturally within 48 hours through proper care. But if the problem is taken for granted for prolong period of time, they can generate future complications such as recurrent corneal erosion.
- Penetration of the eye
One of the rare and serious injuries can be caused due to the penetration of the eye. A projectile object can enter into the eyeball and pierce the eye that can have serious detrimental health effects for the eye.
- Scarring or infection
If a particle or sawdust gets into your eye and is not removed, it can cause scarring or serious infections such as the redness of the eye and may affect your vision. Symptoms are, however, quickly decreased as soon as it is removed.
A defect may be caused on the surface of the eye if the scratch on the cornea is not healed. This defect is called ulcer and is likely to affect your vision or can lead to an abscess.
- Corneal scarring
A permanent visual impairment is caused due to corneal scarring if not treated properly that could be very hazardous for eye health.