When you think about staying safe in the kitchen, you probably think about using hot pads to handle dishware or being careful with knives. Few people realize that the kitchen can actually pose a threat to the health of their eyes.

There are a lot of ways that your eyes could become injured when you are working with foods in the kitchen. Being aware of these eye risks can help you take action to protect your eyes against serious injury in the future.

1. Wear Gloves When Working With Spices

Spices are a staple ingredient in most kitchens. While many spices are perfectly benign, there are some that could be hazardous to your eye health if they are not handled properly. Chili powder, pepper, and other spicy ingredients can leave behind a residue on your hands long after you have finished preparing your dish.

The capsaicin found in the peppers and chili peppers used to create spicy ingredients can be an eye irritant that is difficult to wash completely away with soap and water. By wearing a pair of latex gloves whenever you handle spicy ingredients, you can avoid inadvertently rubbing your eyes afterward and causing serious discomfort.

2. Tread Carefully in the Kitchen

Taking a tumble in the kitchen can be detrimental to your eye health. Statistics show that the number one cause of eye injury in the United States is falling.

The kitchen is loaded with hazards that can increase the likelihood of a fall. Water or grease can splash onto the floor. A kitchen rug might slip and cause you to lose your balance while cooking.

The easiest way to avoid a fall-related eye injury in the kitchen is to wear non-slip footwear whenever you are cooking.

3. Always Use a Lid or Grease Shield

If you do a lot of frying in hot oils or work with a lot of liquids while you are cooking, you must be vigilant when it comes to protecting your eyes against accidental splashing. If a liquid ingredient or hot grease splashes into your eyes while you are preparing foods in your kitchen, delicate eye tissue can become blistered or be perforated.

Make sure that you are placing a lid or grease shield over any pan you use while cooking and consider wearing protective eyewear if you will be working with acidic liquids (like vinegar, lemon juice, or tomato-based sauces).

For more information, reach out to a local ophthalmology practice.