Mardi Gras season is upon us, and while we are busy thinking about king cakes, parades and parties, we often overlook some important, yet not-so-obvious, safety lessons while out and about during the festivities. In particular, few people probably think about potential dangers to their eyes while trying to catch the best prizes as the floats pass by.
Eye injuries of all types occur at a rate of more than 2,000 per day. And according to experts, simply taking a few precautions and wearing proper safety glasses can prevent more than 90 percent of reported eye injuries.
“In my practice, the most common cause of serious eye injuries has been the result of weed-eaters launching items, such as gravel, at great distances and speed,” says Christopher Grenier, MD, Ophthalmology and Optometry physician at Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge . “The projectiles can even go as far as hitting a next door neighbor’s eye, causing a very serious injury.”
When it comes to eye injuries, early detection and treatment is key to maintaining good vision at every stage of life. In extreme circumstances such as a penetrating eye injury, vision loss or eyelid lacerations, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has come up with some useful eye safety tips for your everyday life:
- Check for rocks and debris before mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. And don’t forget to wear goggles.
- Wear eye protection when using bungee cords, as these are a common cause of severe eye injuries.
- Buy safe toys for kids, avoiding those with sharp edges.
- Never use fireworks. Even sparklers burn hot enough to melt gold.
- Keep a pair of safety glasses or goggles with your jumper cables and follow instructions carefully when jump-starting a dead car battery.
- Be careful with household chemicals, since many can burn your eyes’ delicate tissue.
- Always wear appropriate eye protection when playing sports.
- Have fun in the sun, but always wear sunglasses when outdoors for extended periods of time.
All eye injuries should be treated as potential emergencies, so do not hesitate to contact your eye doctor immediately. You only get one pair of eyes, so be sure you do everything you can to protect yours!