With Memorial Day right around the corner, we thought now was the perfect time to address the very serious subject of Eye Injuries. Did you know that 2.5 million eye injuries occur each and every year and 50,000 of those injuries result in complete or partial vision loss? And nearly half (44%) of these occur in or around the home while performing simple, everyday tasks, like mowing or even frying some bacon. Scary, isn’t it? Fortunately, 90% or more of these eye injuries could have been prevented with proper protective eyewear, according to experts!
“Slipping on a pair of safety glasses is quick and easy,” said American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT) President Ferenc Kuhn, MD, PhD. “Unfortunately, compared to other commonsense safety steps such as wearing seatbelts, using protective eyewear does not happen frequently enough.”
So why do so few people wear proper eyewear? Well, according to a survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ASOT, “most people underestimate their at-home risks.” While 66% of survey respondents said they owned protective eyewear, 30% admitted that they did not consistently use the eyewear.
“Protective eyewear could prevent most home eye injuries,” said AAO spokesman Andrew Iwach, MD.
Memorial Day and Eye Injuries: Be Aware and be Prepared
Every year, nearly 10,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries. And next to injury to the hands, eye injuries are the most common reason for fireworks-related hospital ER visits, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Nearly half of all eye injuries from fireworks occur in children, with 25% resulting in permanent vision loss.
“No one should go from a backyard celebration to the emergency room with firework-related injuries,” said CPSC acting chairman Nancy Nord. “Using only legal fireworks and using them correctly is an important step toward celebrating safely.”
Fireworks Safety Tips from the CPSC
- Keep young children at a safe distance and never allow them to ignite fireworks.
- Make sure the fireworks you purchase are legal for your area and always follow the safety instructions on the packaging.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over the fireworks when lighting the fuse.
- Never use homemade fireworks.
- If fireworks do not ignite, never attempt to re-light.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergency.
- Wear protective eyewear.
To learn more about Memorial Day and Eye Injuries, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
- Nearly Half of Eye Injuries Occur at Home WebMD
- News release, American Academy of Ophthalmology/American Society of Ocular Trauma.
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: “Fireworks Continue to be Dangerous Part of Fourth of July Festivities,” June 25, 2008.
- AAO Eye Injury Snapshot 2008.
- Andrew Iwach, MD, executive director, Glaucoma Center of San Francisco; spokesman, American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- Ferenc Kuhn, MD, PhD, president, American Society of Ocular Trauma.
- Nancy A. Nord, acting chairman, Consumer Products Safety Commission.