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Fireworks Eye Injuries Have More Than Doubled in Recent Years

Fireworks sales will be blazing across the country from now through the Fourth of July. As retailers begin their promotions, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is shining a light on this explosive fact: The number of eye injuries caused by fireworks has more than doubled in recent years.

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 emergency room visits each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The injuries largely occurred in the weeks before and after the Fourth of July. The CPSC’s most recent fireworks report showed that about 1,300 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2014, up from 600 reported in 2011.

To help prevent these injuries, the Academy is addressing four important things about consumer fireworks risks:

  1. Small doesn’t equal safe. A common culprit of injuries are the fireworks often handed to small children – the classic sparkler. Many people mistakenly believe sparklers are harmless due to their size and the fact they don’t explode. However, they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt certain metals. 
  2. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. At age 16, Jameson Lamb was hit square in the eye with a Roman candle that he thought had been extinguished. Now 20, Lamb has gone through multiple surgeries, including a corneal transplant and a stem cell transplant. 
  3. Just because you’re not lighting or throwing it doesn’t mean you’re out of the firing line. An international study of fireworks-related eye injuries showed that half of those hurt were bystanders. The researchers also found that one in six of these injuries caused severe vision loss. 
  4. The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. The Academy advises that the safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show where experts are controlling the displays.

If you experience a fireworks eye injury:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.
  • Do not remove any object from the eye, apply ointments, or take any pain medications before seeking medical help.

Watch the AAO’s animated public service announcement titled “Fireworks: The Blinding Truth.”

 

Article contributed by Dr. Brian Wnorowski, M.D.

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ


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Recent Patient Reviews


18 July 2019

  • Shitaytay Z.
    2019-07-04
    My husband and I have been coming here for years, ever since we've moved up here 10 years ago. \n\nThe staff and the Doctors are always super friendly and nice. They have an abundance of...
  • Sharon N.
    2019-07-12
    I have been a client for 4 years and counting. Dr. Rachel is very knowledgeable, thorough and personable. The front desk ladies were very friendly and welcoming. Clinic is not pushy on the...
  • S H.
    2019-07-14
    My family has been coming here for over a decade I believe! All of the docs are wonderful, the clinic is always on time, the opticians are easy to work with. I have complicated vision issues...
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Latest Office News


Swimming and Contacts Don't Mix
07-17-2019
It's the summer and one of the most common questions eye doctors are asked is, “Is it safe to swim in my contact lenses?” The answer we give is “NO!" Do millions of people swim with their contact lenses in? The answer is “Yes, they do, but it is NOT a recommended activity.’’ There are several reasons why, ranging from comfort issues to others that are far more sinister and potentially blinding. The first reason not to swim with contacts in is that the pH and buffering of your tears......
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Hillsboro Vision Clinic

Our optometric practice has been proudly serving the greater Hillsboro community since 1988. We invite your family into our family of experienced eye care professionals. It will be our pleasure to serve you and we look forward to your next visit.