Fireworks have been a traditional part of Independence Day celebrations for years, injuring generations of Americans. As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding everyone that fireworks are incendiary devices that can cause devastating eye injuries. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause, burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment, leading to permanent eye damage and vision loss. According to a 2014 report from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, fireworks cause over 10,000 injuries that require emergency room treatment each year. You don’t have to handle fireworks to sustain serious injury, as half of the eye injuries caused by fireworks each year are suffered by bystanders, and nearly a third are children aged 15 or under.
In addition to protecting eyes from fireworks injury, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has set aside the month of June to raise public awareness of the dangers of cataracts. A cataract is a build-up of protein in the lens, that clouds the lens and blocks or distorts light entering the eye. As we get older, the risk of cataract increases. Cataracts can develop long before they can be seen, or cause symptoms. Cataract symptoms include cloudy, blurry, or double vision; they may cause a glare around light sources or fade colors. Cataracts can cause poor night vision, fixed dark spots in your field of vision, and frequent changes in your prescription. Diagnosis is determined through a dilated eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist that uses a slit lamp and a tonometry test to measure the pressure inside your eye. Cataracts are different based upon location, tissue, maturity, or origin. A cortical cataract starts at the edges of the lens and then forms wedges or triangles that point inward toward the center. A subcapsular cataract develops in the back of the lens, while a nuclear cataract develops in the central part of the lens. If you or someone you love is experiencing the symptoms of cataract, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist to schedule a dilated eye exam.
Alpine Eye Care is Northern Michigan’s leading eye care center. We offer comprehensive eye care services for every member of your family—at every stage of eye health. Alpine Eye Care is home to the region’s only two board-certified eye surgeons, who perform state-of-the-art surgery at the local hospital of your choice. We provide eye exams, vision correction, specialized eye care for seniors, treatment of eye diseases, and in-office laser treatments for macular degeneration, complications of diabetes and glaucoma. Call 1.877.733.2020 or complete an online contact form to schedule an appointment. Don’t neglect your vision as you age. Make lifelong vision health your goal with help from Alpine Eye Care.