Eye Injuries Increase During the Fourth of July

Seeing. The future.

Eye Injuries Increase During the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July holiday is fast-approaching, but make sure you don’t spend it in the emergency room.

According to the most recent Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks injuries in the United States caused nearly 10,500 injuries requiring treatment in emergency rooms. Nearly 20 percent of these visits were eye injuries.

Fireworks can permanently cause eye damage and affect vision like chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachments, and in severe cases, rupture the globe of the eye.

“Kids and young people are the most at risk in my experience,” says Dr. Heidi Jarecki, Ophthalmologist at Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic. She recalls treating a child with a corneal burn from a sparkler that the child walked into. The child had permanent vision loss as a result.

Dr. Jarecki says another incident occurred with a young man who went up to see if a firework was a dud because it hadn’t gone off after being lit. It went off at that moment and struck him in the eye rupturing the vascular layer of the back of his eye (choroidal rupture), causing immediate and permanent vision loss.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 35 percent of eye injuries caused by fireworks happen to children under the age of 15.

“The tricky part of fireworks is that they throw sparks unpredictably and the chemicals in them are quite toxic so any contact is an opportunity for a hard-to-control burn,” says Dr. Jarecki. “The smoke they generate isn’t good for ocular surface disease either.”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advises that the best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show from at least 500 feet away.

If you do purchase fireworks for home use, AAO recommends the following safety tips:

  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers
  • Adults handling fireworks should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
  • Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyro technicians

If an eye injury from fireworks does occur:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Do not rinse your eyes
  • Do not apply pressure
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye
  • -Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic encourages everyone to make safety a priority this Fourth of July.

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Dr. Harvey completes his 5th Vietnam Mission Trip

Seeing. The future.

Dr. Harvey completes his 5th Vietnam Mission Trip

Dr. Thomas Harvey recently completed another mission trip to Vietnam. We asked him some questions to learn more about his visit.

True or False: You went to Vietnam for vacation.

“FALSE… but a person should. It is a place with magical beauty, amazing history, incredible food, friendly people, clean beaches, and it is very inexpensive.”

True or False: This was your first visit to Vietnam.

“FALSE, this trip was my fifth mission trip to Vietnam. It was our first time in The Highlands (near Laos), however. My good friend, Dr. Hai, has a new clinic that he has started there. “

True or False: You performed eye surgery.

“ TRUE. With the help of the two host surgeons, Drs. Hai and Cung, we performed over 100 surgeries in four days. Sadly, there were many patients that had to be turned away due to our limited resources.”

“We performed over 100 surgeries in four days.”

Dr. Harvey and his team scrubbed up and ready to operate

The Highlands (near Laos)

Dr. Harvey delivers eye products and supplies

The Highlands (near Laos)

True or False: You speak fluent Vietnamese.

“TRUE… if you need me to say, “draft beer!” That is, “bia hoi,” which incidentally can be purchased there for less than a quarter. If you need me to say anything else, I will just use Google Translate. So, no, I am really not fluent in Vietnamese.”

True or False: You trained other eye care professionals on various treatments.

“TRUE. I spend a lot of the mission time lecturing both informally and formally. This year, I gave two talks at the medical school. These young doctors are like sponges, drinking up all the eyeball information! We also share surgical videos, perform telemedicine, and sponsor doctors to come to our meetings in the US. Come join Dr. Hai and me for some pho (Vietnamese soup) when he is here this Spring!”

“These young doctors are like sponges, drinking up all the eyeball information!”

Dr. Harvey gives a slit lamp examination to a patient

The Highlands (near Laos)

True or False: You donated medical equipment and eye care products to the Vietnamese communities.

“TRUE. Courtesy of Al Van Dong (Tennis Pro at Eau Claire Golf and Country Club), we were able to donate a brand new defibrillator to the University’s Acute Care Program. They were ecstatic! Future directions will be to not only support ophthalmology and emergency medicine, but also orthopedics and ENT.”

Thank you, Dr. Harvey for your outreach and kindness to the people of Vietnam!

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Schedule your appointment.

By submitting this form, you are granting: Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic , 2715 Damon Street , Eau Claire, WI, 54701, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email.

Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

affiliations