July is Eye Injury Prevention month! Eye emergencies can happen when you least expect them so it is important to know what to do if you or a loved one need urgent eye care.
First- Don’t panic! Stay calm and urge those around you to as well. Second- never try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Contact your eye doctor for instructions on what to do. It may not be necessary to go to the emergency room for eye injuries. Studies show that almost all urgent eye care performed in emergency rooms could have been treated by an optometrist. Still use your best judgment! If you think the emergency room is your best option do not delay!
What is an eye emergency? The most common types include:
- Eye infections
- Foreign objects stuck in the eye
- Eye trauma
- Scratch on the eye
- Sudden loss of vision in one/both eyes
- Lost contact lens in the eye
- Shattered eyeglass lens
- Sudden appearance of light flashes or floaters
What should you do if you have an eye care emergency?
- Don’t press on or rub an injured eye
- Don’t attempt to remove a foreign body on your own
- Don’t use dry cotton (including cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers) on the eye
- Don’t attempt to remove an embedded object
One of the most common eye injuries during the month of July… FIREWORKS! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 10,000 firework-related injuries were treated in 2019. Children and young adults under 20 years old accounted for nearly half of all estimated injuries caused by fireworks.
If you are using fireworks this 4th of July follow safety guidelines:
- Provide adult supervision to children at all times
- Do not allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Never shoot off fireworks in metal or glass containers
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- Always keep a bucket of water or garden hose near in care of a malfunction or fire
If you or a family member are experiencing an eye emergency has occurred call our office as soon as possible so we can help assist you!