FAQs

UV Rays Can Cause Harm to Eyes

You probably know that too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sunburn and skin cancer. But did you know UV rays can also harm your eyes? Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to significant eye problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygia and photokeratitis. As you rub sunscreen on to protect your skin this summer, don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. 

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The Blinding Truth About Fireworks

The numbers are clear: fireworks are dangerous, and the month surrounding July 4th is the most dangerous time. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent annual fireworks injury report  fireworks caused eight deaths and nearly 13,000 injuries in 2017. Two-thirds of the fireworks injuries treated in emergency rooms happened between mid-June and mid-July. The report also found that 14% of fireworks injuries were eye injuries. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment — all of which can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss.

Here are four fireworks facts you should know:

1. Sparklers are NOT safe for young children. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees! Sparklers, which many consider harmless, are responsible for most of the injuries to children age 5 and younger.

2. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as fireworks operators. An international study of fireworks-related eye injuries showed that nearly half of the people injured by fireworks are bystanders. Two of the most common culprits of firework related injuries are mortar-type fireworks and bottle rockets, which are thrown before they explode and can strike an innocent bystander.

3. It is not safe to pick up a firework after it has been lit. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. Injury and serious eye trauma can occur when people mistakenly think that a firework is no longer active or hot. Never touch unexploded fireworks and contact the local fire or police department to properly handle it.

4. The Fourth of July can still be a “blast” without using consumer fireworks. The safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show. Here is an article by Bham Now on The Alabama Bicentennial Fireworks Show

If you experience a fireworks injury, we urge you to minimize the damage to the eye by doing the following:

• Seek medical attention immediately.
• Do not rub the eye. Rubbing may make the injury worse.
• Do not attempt to rinse the eye.
• Do not apply pressure to the eye.
• Do not remove objects from the eye,
• Do not apply ointments or take pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen before seeking medical help.

As always, Dr. Kye Mansfield, Dr. Jill Meyer and Dr. Rena Lewis are here to help. If you have questions about potential eye injuries or safety precautions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Make Eye Health a Priority in your 20’s

Yearly physical? Check. Dentist appointments? Double Check. But what about your eye health?

It’s important to take care of your eyes — just like you take care of the rest of your body! Whether you’re looking forward to soaking in the window view from your corner office or setting your sights on the beach this summer — you can take simple steps now to make sure you’re seeing your best when that day comes.

Healthy Vision Month is the perfect time to learn how to protect your eyes — and help prevent vision loss in the future. This year, we’re encouraging young adults ages 25 to 35 to make eye health a priority now and for years to come.

Our recommendations include:Read More

Women at Higher Risk than Men for Most Eye Diseases

Women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind.  More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. One reason why women are affected by eye health issues more than men is because they tend to live longer. Women are also affected by hormonal factors, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Women also have greater instances of eye disorders because they:

  • Live longer
  • Are at greater risk for autoimmune diseases
  •  And are more likely to undergo certain cancer treatments that may affect vision.

According to the NEI, 3.6 million Americans age 40 and older who suffer from visual impairment, including blindness, 2.3 million are women. These numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come.

Although there are no cures for these diseases, many of the effects may be lessened through early detection and treatment.

The recent survey results are alarming combined with the results from the Prevent Blindness survey conducted last year by Harris Poll which found that:

  • Less than 10 percent of American women realize that women are at a greater risk of suffering permanent vision loss than men
  • 86 percent incorrectly believe that men and women are at equal risk
  • 5 percent believe that men are at greater risk

Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future. As women age, it is increasingly important to have regular eye exams to detect age-related eye diseases early.

 

We also recommend:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Taking supplements (as approved by a medical professional)
  • Learning of any family history of eye disease
  • Expectant mothers should be aware of possible vision changes during pregnancy
  • All women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant and have been diagnosed with diabetes should get a full, dilated eye exam
  • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
  • Use cosmetics safely
  • Use contact lenses safely

 

The Eye Injury Risks of Baseball Season

For many Americans, the return of spring means baseball season begins! Parents are shopping for different equipment, but too many forget to include an important piece of gear: protective eyewear. Each year, participating in sports causes tens of thousands of eye injuries. Most of these occur in kids, and about 90% of them can be avoided. Read More

Sunglasses for Spring Break: Protect Your Eyes in Style

Spring is almost here, and for many people, that means time to make plans for a Spring Break trip. The most popular trip destinations are those that are warm and sunny, but destinations involving mountains and skiing are appealing to many people as well. Because many vacation plans include a lot of hours logged outdoors, one essential activity before going on that vacation is to make sure your eyes are well protected by quality sunglasses and that you look good wearing them too. Read More

Glaucoma: The Leading Cause of Blindness in the U.S.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. Read More

Dry Eye: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

One of the most common complaints we hear in our office is “Why do my eyes sting and tear?” Dry eye causes a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye. Other symptoms include stinging or burning, episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge, pain, and redness in the eye. People with dry eye may also feel as if their eyelids are heavy and may experience blurred vision. Read More

Use it or Lose it: Use those FSA Dollars by the end of the year!

With all the holiday craziness, yet another end-of-the year shopping spree is going on. It’s that last dash to use up the remaining dollars in your health care flexible spending account. Flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) can help you spend less on health care, but only if you use yours correctly: by spending all the money in it before the looming  year-end deadline.

FSAs are tax-advantaged accounts that can be used for medical expenses only; they’re sometimes also called flexible spending accounts. They’re different from health savings accounts, or HSAs, in that the money can be spent only in the calendar year it’s contributed.Read More

5 Halloween Costumes with Glasses

Do you wear prescription glasses? Are you dreading the idea of coming up with a Halloween costume? Halloween can be a stressful time for those of us who wear glasses. No worries; it’s not too late! Dr. Kye Mansfield has you covered with some costume ideas that will keep you looking fashionable and having fun!Read More