beaumont vision pdx eyecare blog
July 2, 2018

How to Prevent Eye Injuries From Fireworks on July 4th

Keeping Your Eyes Safe From Fireworks on Independence Day

firework eye safety

Independence Day and the start of summer means fireworks season. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks send over 10,000 people to the emergency room each year, and eye injuries make up a serious portion of those injuries.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that in and around the Fourth of July, fireworks-related eye injuries rise, and incidences are growing. So what can be done to prevent eye injuries from fireworks? Read on to find out how best to protect your eyes, and the eyes of your children from fireworks accidents this Independence Day.

Avoiding Exposure to Fireworks Entirely?

One step can be to avoid consumer fireworks entirely. According to Dr. Fasika Woreta of the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, consumer-grade fireworks, even though legal, are not at all safe for eyes, potentially causing serious eye injuries as severe as blindness.

If you’re going to use fireworks, use them as safely as possible, and that includes being careful about bystanders, and using caution when you are a bystander, yourself. If you’re watching fireworks or around anyone using fireworks, be sure to stand well out of the firing line. Nearly half of those injured by fireworks are bystanders, with one in six subjected to severe vision loss as a result.

Treat all fireworks as potentially dangerous, even if they are quite small or “duds,” fireworks that you expected to explode but did not. Never handle unexploded fireworks once launched and always keep fireworks away from eyes at all times.

Keeping Fireworks Away From Children

Do not allow children to handle fireworks, ever. What may seem like a few minutes of innocent fun can result in a lifetime of tragedy. Again, the best way to enjoy fireworks is via a professional fireworks display. There is really no safe way for any non-professional to handle or use fireworks, especially children.

If you are watching a fireworks display, especially if it is an up-close or a non-professional display (not recommended), it cannot hurt to wear eye protection, such as goggles or at least sunglasses. It may feel a little unusual, but it could save your eyesight in an emergency.

If Your Eye Becomes Injured From Fireworks…

If you or your child sustains an eye injury due to fireworks, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Do not rub the eye, flush the eye or apply pressure. Do not stop to take or give your child pain reliever or to apply ointment.

Any contact with your eye could exacerbate the problem. Cover the eye with a Styrofoam or paper cup so that nothing comes in contact with it and get to the emergency room as soon as possible.

General Eye Health Tips on the 4th of July

While fireworks can present a particular danger when it comes to your eyes, you should always be on the lookout for potential eye injury situations. We take our eyesight for granted, but it is extremely difficult to live without it.

Another way to protect your eyes is through regular eye examinations and getting any necessary care for your eyes as soon as possible. In the Portland area, you can enjoy top-quality eye examinations and eye care from the friendly, experienced professionals at Beaumont Vision.

Call us at 503-331-3937 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.

June 20, 2018

How Does a Lack of Sleep Affect My Eyesight and Vision?

The Link Between a Good Night’s Sleep and Good Vision

how sleeplessness affects eye health

According to a new study by the Sleep Foundation, most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night in order to function at the highest capacity. On the flip side, getting less than five hours of sleep per night can have adverse effects on the body. Symptoms of sleep loss can include trouble focusing, feelings of depression or anxiety, and increased risk of some diseases, among other things.

Not getting enough sleep at night can also affect your motor skills and vision. You may already know something about the link between lack of sleep and dark circles under the eyes, but not getting enough sleep can affect your eyes and vision in even more severe ways. Eyes function best with a minimum of five hours of “shut eye” a night. Here, we take a look at what can go wrong when prolonged lack of sleep negatively affects vision and eyesight.

Vision Problems Linked to Lack of Sleep

Lid Twitching

One of the most common side effects of not getting enough sleep is eye spasms. Eye spasms, or myokymia, is the sudden and uncontrollable twitching of eyelid muscles around the eye. Lid twitching and eye spasms are caused by misfired neurons in the eyelid muscle.

Myokymia is not a serious condition and usually doesn’t require medication to treat. If you experience myokymia, reducing caffeine and increasing the hours that you sleep each night will usually alleviate the symptoms.

Dry Eyes

Without at least five hours of sleep per night, the eyes cannot properly replenish themselves, which can lead to dry or irritated eyes during waking hours. Dry eyes occur when the eyes aren’t properly lubricated, and can lead to symptoms like itchy irritation in and around the eye, redness, and blurred vision.

Eye drops can be relatively effective when trying to treat dry eyes. However, regularly getting a good night of sleep is the only thing that will target the root of the problem.

Other Risk Factors Associated With Sleep Deprivation

After years of sleep deprivation, some adults suffer from Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (AION). Although it is extremely rare, AION is most common in elderly people, and is characterized by loss of vision, optic disc swelling, and flame hemorrhages.

While the causes of AION are widely controversial, many doctors and scientists believe patients with cardiovascular issues like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels are at higher risk. Since all of these cardiovascular risk factors have links to sustained lack of sleep, there may be a link between between AION and years of sleep deprivation.

Because sleep deprivation is detrimental to your health and can increase the risk of certain diseases, lack of sleep has also been linked to health issues like glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition where pressure builds up in the eye; this can eventually lead to loss of vision.

Tips for Getting a Good Night of Sleep, for Your Eyes’ Sake

Set intentions to go to bed at the same, reasonable hour every night, and wake up at the same time every morning as best you can. A regular sleep schedule will help you fall asleep faster and maintain healthy energy levels. Try to engage in exercise every day, as this will also make it easier to fall asleep.

Avoid looking at your phone or other bright screens within two hours of going to sleep. If you experience insomnia, sleep apnea, or other serious sleeping issues, contact your doctor so that you can get the help you need to get on a regular sleeping schedule.

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