Protecting Your Eyes This Fourth of July

Hot on the heels of National Fireworks Eye Safety Month in June, Independence Day has an abundance of opportunities for you to keep your eyes from harm. This Fourth of July can be spectacular and memorable when you take the precautions to protect your eyes from some of the activities that seem to go hand in hand with the celebrations of our country’s founding. The Orlando ophthalmology team at Magruder Laser Vision has several suggestions on eye protection during the day’s swimming, cookouts, and fireworks displays that will keep your eyes from being injured or irritated.

Swimming

The chemicals in a chlorinated pool or salt in the Gulf of Mexico can irritate the delicate exterior of your eyes. The Gulf is also teeming with life, which could infiltrate any abrasion in your cornea. Protect your eyes in the pool or marine environment by wearing swim goggles or a face mask. Remember to wear your UV-protection sunglasses while you are poolside or relaxing on the beach as well. And watch for Frisbees!

Cookouts

Grilling steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs is a tradition on Independence Day. Gas and charcoal grills are great at searing the burgers perfectly, and cooking outside flavors the meat like nothing else. Stand clear of the grill’s lid as you lift it, though, until the smoke and steam that accumulates inside has cleared. If you are cooking something that sizzles, wear protective eyewear to keep the hot oil and vapors from injuring your eyes.

Fireworks

Florida’s late summer nights and flat terrain are perfect for firework displays. Whether you are hosting your own event or attending a professional display, safety is key. As fireworks explode, their beauty reigns down from the sky, but sometimes the pattern of fireworks can be hard to estimate. Because of this, we recommend wearing safety glasses just in case!

Home Fireworks

If you are igniting legal fireworks, such as fountains, and it appears one is not working properly, do not pick it up to examine it. If an incorrect amount of chemical has been added, it will take longer to explode; leave the firework alone. Stand at least 500 feet from the fireworks display. Adults should handle sparklers, and adults should remind children to not stare at the sparklers; there is a danger of thermal burns to their eyes. After handling any fireworks, wash your hands thoroughly so you do not pass any chemical residue from the firework to your eyes.

If you do experience any eye irritation or injury, consult a physician immediately or go to the emergency room. The sooner you treat an eye injury, the better your chances of a full recovery. Rather than rubbing your eye or adding a topical ointment, place a damp cloth over your closed eye and hold it lightly in place with your hand. The Orlando ophthalmology experts at Magruder Laser Vision want you to celebrate this Independence Day with these safety precautions to keep your eyes healthy. Call Magruder Laser Vision at 407-843-5665 for information on LASIK so you can see the fireworks displays without the impediments of astigmatism and nearsightedness. Our blogs explain many of our procedures and other summertime hints on eye health and safety.