Did you know that June is both Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataract Awareness Month, as observed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology? The summer is a popular time for seeing and using fireworks, especially as Independence Day nears.
But consumer fireworks can be hazardous, and eye injuries are unfortunately common. When it comes to eye health, it’s always a good time to think about your eyesight and recognize any problems with your vision, especially if they are due to cataracts.
Recognizing cataract symptoms and knowing your risk can be a vital part of getting prompt diagnosis and treatment. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of observing Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataract Awareness Month!
The Dangers of Consumer Fireworks
Consumer fireworks are fireworks you can buy and use without a license. Unfortunately, these fireworks cause thousands of injuries a year.
As many as 15% of these injuries are eye injuries. Those injured by fireworks can lose their sight from burns and abrasions to the eye, as well as retinal detachment.
People of all ages can get these injuries, but it’s imperative to be aware of these dangers as a parent. Never allow your children to use consumer fireworks unsupervised, and follow strict safety guidelines.
But the safest thing you can do is skip the fireworks at home altogether and watch professional fireworks shows. Be careful to sit a safe distance from where fireworks are set off!
Cataract Risk Factors and Symptoms
Cataracts are a common condition. They occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy.
Developing cataracts is part of the aging process, but they can develop for other reasons as well. However, you may be surprised at how young you can be and still be at an increased risk for cataracts. Risk factors for cataracts include:
- Being over the age of 40
- Using tobacco
- Experiencing UV damage
- Being obese
- Excessive alcohol consumption
If any of these factors apply to you, it’s essential to be on the lookout for cataract symptoms and schedule regular eye exams. Cataract symptoms can be hard to spot early on. They often develop so slowly that you may not realize that you have cataracts. These symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Trouble seeing in low light
- Difficulty seeing contrast
If you’re over 40 and experience several of these symptoms, see your eye doctor as soon as you can so you can have your cataracts adequately diagnosed.
Cataract Diagnosis and Treatment
Having your cataracts diagnosed early can be very useful, as your ophthalmologist can track their progression. In addition, you can have cataracts removed by having cataract surgery.
Even if you have a cataract, you won’t need surgery until they make it difficult to live your day-to-day life. Having cataract surgery ensures that they’re dealt with before they make it hard to see the world around you at all.
Knowing your risk for cataracts and having regular eye exams is the best way to raise your cataract awareness. In addition, staying away from consumer fireworks is the best way to observe fireworks’ eye safety.
Are you concerned about keeping your eyes safe this summer? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Las Vegas, NV, today!