How to Protect Your Eyes During Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataract Awareness Month | Shepherd Eye Center

How to Protect Your Eyes During Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataract Awareness Month

Just in time for summer, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Fireworks Eye Safety Month. The two most common eye injuries caused by fireworks are eye abrasions and burns.

These preventable injuries can lead to permanent vision impairment or total vision loss. Keep reading to learn how to protect your eyes during Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataract Awareness Month!

1. Use Protective Eyewear

Before lighting up fireworks, be sure you are wearing safety glasses or goggles specifically designed to protect your eyes from impact or debris. For optimal protection, look for eyewear certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

2. Maintain a Safe Distance

Ensure that you are at a safe distance from fireworks when they are being ignited or exploding. Most experts recommend a distance of at least thirty feet from ground-based fireworks and one hundred yards for aerial fireworks.

3. Attend Professional Displays

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a display organized by trained technicians. Professional displays must meet strict safety standards and are usually far more impressive than backyard fireworks.

4. Use Sparkler Alternatives

Traditional sparklers can pose a big risk to the eyes, just as fireworks do. Consider replacing sparklers with safer alternatives like glow sticks or LED light toys.

5. Stay Alert and Aware 

Be mindful of your surroundings when you attend an event that includes fireworks. Keep yourself and any children well away from the areas where the fireworks are being ignited.

If your summer celebrations include fireworks, plan for the safety and health of your eyes! Following these suggestions and taking other common-sense safety measures can ensure that an eye injury caused by fireworks doesn’t put an unplanned end to your summer fun!

What About Protecting My Eyes From Cataracts?

June is also designated as Cataracts Awareness Month. This designation is meant to encourage Americans to learn more about cataracts, the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye break down and clump together on the eye’s naturally clear lens. The most common cause of cataracts is aging and studies show that by the age of seventy-five, over half of Americans will have developed cataracts.

While cataracts are largely unpreventable, here are five ways to ensure that cataracts don’t lead to serious vision impairment:

1. Schedule Yearly Comprehensive Eye Exams

Tests to check for cataracts are a routine part of a comprehensive eye exam. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment of cataracts.

2. Report the Symptoms of Cataracts to your Eye Doctor

Even if you are not due for an eye exam, you should contact your eye doctor if you are experiencing the common signs of cataracts, which include clouded vision, sensitivity to light, blurry or distorted vision, decreased night vision, and white or yellow pupils.

3. Protect your Eyes from UV Light

Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to UV light sources, like the sun, can contribute to the development of cataracts. Be sure to wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light when heading outdoors.

4. Manage Chronic Health Conditions

People with certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, are at an increased risk for cataracts. Protect your vision by carefully managing any chronic health conditions.

5. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, you are more likely to develop cataracts. Protecting the quality of your vision is just one more reason to quit.

This June, use Cataracts Awareness Month as an opportunity to learn more about cataracts. The more you know about cataracts, the more you can take steps to protect the clarity of your vision!

Do you want to learn more ways to protect your vision? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!

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