Important Tips to Avoid Eye Injury From Seasonal Hazards by Renowned Eye Surgeon, Dr. Stewart Shofner
Flying champagne corks to ring in the New Year and celebrate is considered a serious seasonal hazard and potentially cause eye injuries. The Ophthalmology Academy's EyeSmart program is offering public awareness campaigns to help ensure a safe and eye healthy Holiday.
"We are making extra efforts by re-posting, re-tweeting informative messages to prevent vision loss and eye injury, along with other helpful tips from industry experts," says Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center in Nashville, TN.
Who's at Risk?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), nearly half (44.1%) of all reported eye injuries happen in the home and adults are at greatest risk. Statistics report nearly half (47.6 %) of all reported eye injuries occur in people between the ages of 18 and 45. Additionally, projectile objects such as flying debris, nails or champagne corks account for almost 18% of all reported injuries. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2011, there were an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.
Toys can be dangerous! Darts, BB guns, paintball guns, and airsoft guns can be hazardous if not used properly. These toys have caused injuries such as: corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, increased intraocular pressure and permanent vision loss. To stay safe, Dr. Shofner suggests the following:
1. Inspect. Remove any toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
2. Supervise. Keep toys made for older kids away from younger children.
3. Wear protective eyewear. Ensure they offer polycarbonate lenses for playing sports, especially important for snowball fights and sledding.
4. Age. Check age recommendations on toys/gifts and consider a child's maturity level.
5. Recalls. Visit the CPSC.gov website for product recalls and remove any defective toys immediately.
Even these innocuous items hurt people and send them to a hospital emergency room. Dr. Shofner recommends following these suggestions to keep guests and loved ones safe:
1. Popping Champagne Corks. The safest way to open champagne is to place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork and slowly twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the seal. Ensure it's chilled to 45 degrees, point the bottle away from yourself and others.
2. Fireplaces & Candles. Both should be out of reach of children. Hot wax and hot fire can cause burns and injury. Use a fireplace screen and keep Fido from lying too close to open fire.
3. Christmas Trees. Avoid breakable ornaments and supervise children while trimming the tree. Keep lower branches trimmed back to reduce little ones from getting poked in the eye.
4. Soups On. While cooking a Holiday meal, be sure to keep loved ones away from the kitchen when preparing foods that can splatter hot grease or oil. Soups, sauce, stews and other hot liquids at high temperatures (boiling) may also cause an eye injury.
5. Roll Out The Red Carpet. Ensure all Holiday rugs and decor are secure and walkways or porch areas are clear to avoid injury.
Eye Injury Treatment
The biggest mistake people can make is delaying medical attention after receiving an eye injury. Damaged areas can worsen and result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
"Contact a local eye center or medical doctor to examine the eye as soon as possible," suggests Dr. Shofner.
A serious eye injury is not always immediately obvious. The AAO recommends the following for all eye injuries:
1. DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
2. DO NOT try to remove the object stuck in the eye.
3. Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
4. See a doctor as soon as possible, preferably an ophthalmologist.
About Shofner Vision Center
Following these important safety tips and using common sense will help keep you and your family safer not only during the Holidays, but throughout the year. If you experience any eye injury or impaired vision, contact Shofner Vision Center, your local eye center or family walk-in clinic for treatment. Celebrating over 20 years of business, Shofner Vision Center specializes in LASIK, Cataract Vision Correction Surgery, Treating Eye Diseases and Complete Eye Exams all by well-trained professionals that care about you. We encourage you to follow @ShofnerVision or find us on facebook/ShofnerVision for additional tips and industry information to maintain healthy vision.