Every year on Independence Day, nearly 2,000 fireworks-related eye injuries occur in the United States. Of these, about 25 percent result in blindness or permanent vision loss.
As an ophthalmologist for Via Christi Clinic, I have seen plenty of serious eye injuries while covering emergency ophthalmology cases for Wichita on the Fourth of July. I have treated toddlers who ran into sparklers, one of whom burned a hole through his eyelid, and patients with internal bleeding of the eye from fireworks exploding and hitting them in the eyes. I have also seen patients lose an eye as the result of checking on unexploded fireworks.
Preventing an eye injury is much easier than treating one — and certainly less painful. Here are some key facts and tips to make this Fourth of July a safe one:
If you do sustain an eye injury: