We are all looking forward to a fresh start and ready to ring in the New Year with cheer! Every year it is that special time to celebrate with champagne, but popping a bottle of bubbly comes with some risks. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a champagne cork can fly up to 50 mph as it leaves the bottle. Champagne cork accidents happen; when a champagne cork flies, there is little time to react and protect your delicate eyes. This is the eye care experts here at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons wanted to discuss eye safety during New Year’s celebrations this year.
For a safe celebration, follow the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s simple tips on how to open a bottle of champagne properly:
Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or colder before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
Don’t shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle, thereby increasing your severe eye injury chances.
Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders, and hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle.
Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
Twist the bottle while holding the cork at a 45-degree angle to break the seal. Counter the force of the cork using downward pressure as the cork breaks free from the bottle.
Potential eye injuries from a flying cork include the rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and damage to the eye’s surrounding bone structure. These injuries sometimes require emergency eye surgery or lcan ead to blindness in the damaged eye. Please celebrate safely and watch out for eyes when the champagne corks fly.
Cheers and Happy New Year from your friends at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons! For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay, contact us today. You can also follow us on Facebook for more eye care tips, practice news, and much more.
With the weather getting warmer and the trees beginning to bloom, many people are looking forward to one thing: spring sports. Over the next few months, recreational activities like baseball, tennis, and golf will be going on in hundreds of backyards and public fields and thousands of men, women, and children will no doubt be involved. However, even though participating in spring sports can a fun way to get much-needed exercise, it can also be dangerous to those who fail to take proper precautions. Every year, sports cause more than 40,000 eye injuries, accounting for more than 100,000 physician visits and a cost of more than $175 million. In fact, eye injuries, most commonly from sports-related accidents, are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States. Fortunately, it is estimated that as many as 90% of these sports related eye injuries could have been prevented simply with the correct use of protective eyewear.
The National Institutes of Health can provide specific guidelines outlining which sports are classified as high, moderate, and low risk for eye injuries, and exactly what forms of eye protection are considered most appropriate for each. In general, suitable eye protection almost always involves the use of polycarbonate lenses. Originally designed for the canopies covering cockpits in fighter planes, this clear, lightweight material is up to ten times more impact-resistant than other plastic or glass lenses and does not distort or obstruct vision. Protective safety goggles and helmet shields can help protect from flying debris, which can get lodged in the eye, or from blunt trauma, which can result in serious eye damage or even a detached retina.
Protective lenses can also help protect against more subtle dangers. Being out in the bright sunlight for even a short time without any eye protection may result in a condition called photokeratitis, a painful inflammation of the cornea similar to a sunburn on the surface of the eye. Although the effects of photokeratitis are only temporary, long-term overexposure to ultraviolet radiation has been linked to the development of certain types of cataracts, and some research suggests it may also play a role in development of macular degeneration. Polycarbonate lenses and shields can be easily treated to provide 100% protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. It is so good at screening out harmful radiation that it is used for astronaut helmet visors and space shuttle windshields.
At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are dedicated not only to treating any problems in your eyesight that might arise, but also to providing long-term preventative care to help keep your vision clear and sharp throughout your lifetime. That’s why we carry all forms of protective safety goggles in our on-site optical center. We can even customize protective goggles to match an eyeglass prescription so that patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or who suffer from astigmatism can always perform at their best. If you are interested in learning more about the options available at Georgia Eye, in need of a full comprehensive medical eye exam, or just need a routine eye check to update your glasses or contact lens prescription, our team can help. Please feel free to contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to make an appointment, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.
Here at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we work hard to keep our patients educated about all the potentially damaging things that can affect their eyesight, and many people don’t realize that the spring and summer months can be particularly dangerous. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reports that the occurrence of eye injuries increases as the weather gets warmer, reaching a peak in the month of July and then slowly declining in the fall. Eye injuries generally fall into three groups, based on how they are caused: chemical exposure, blunt force trauma, and foreign particles in the eye. Here is what you should do any of these circumstances occur.
For Chemical Exposure to the Eyes:
Chemical eye burns represent approximately 7% to 10% of all eye injuries. Most frequently, they occur on work sites where industrial chemicals are in use, but can also be caused by a variety of household products, such as fertilizers, cleaning products, or even vinegar. Damage is usually limited to the front segment of the eye, but severe burns that penetrate deeper than the cornea may also cause serious eye problems, like cataracts and glaucoma. If your eyes are exposed to a caustic chemical:
Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this may exacerbate the damage.
Immediately flush the eye(s) with lots of water. Diluting the substance and washing away any particles that may have been in the chemical are extremely important.
Continue flushing the eye for at least ten minutes and even though it may be uncomfortable, open your eyelids as wide as possible as you rinse them out.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible, either while you are rinsing your eyes or after you have been doing so for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Do not bandage the eye.
For Blunt Force Trauma to the Eyes:
According to the National Eye Institute, a division of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), eye injuries caused by blunt force trauma, which most commonly result from sports-related accidents, are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States and account for more than 100,000 physician visits every year. In the most serious cases, these injuries can cause a detached retina, which can potentially result in permanent vision loss. Studies have found that more than 90% of these eye injuries could be prevented simply through the use of protective eyewear, but if your eye is struck forcibly by a blunt object:
Apply a cold compress to control the swelling, but do not apply pressure or rub the eye
To alleviate pain, take over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
If there is any unusual bruising, bleeding, or change in your vision, or if it hurts when your eye moves, see a doctor right away.
For Foreign Particles in the Eye:
Particles of dust, sand, wood, or plastic can often get blown into the eye during various work and leisure activities. Although the eye naturally produces tears to wash foreign material out, this debris may cause a small scratch on the cornea. Such a scratch, if it becomes infected, may evolve into a corneal ulcer, an open sore on the eye that produces redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and intense pain. Prevent Blindness®, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight, recommends that if you have a foreign object stuck in your eye you should:
Avoid rubbing the eyes, as this can push the foreign material deeper into the eye and potentially scratch the cornea.
Pull the upper eyelid down over the lower eyelid and/or blink repeatedly to stimulate additional tear production.
If the particle is still there, rinse the eye thoroughly with a sterile eyewash.
If a larger bit of debris has penetrated the cornea, do NOT attempt to wash the eye or remove anything stuck in it. Instead, cover the eye loosely to prevent further injury and seek immediate medical attention.
Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can go a long way towards keeping your eyes safe and healthy, but a regularly scheduled comprehensive medical eye exam is still the best way to catch eye problems early and prevent long term eye damage. If you have any concerns about your vision, or any questions about how to best maintain the health of your eyes, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule an eye exam with Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on how to keep your vision clear and healthy.
At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons we’re committed to exceptional eye care for our patients and their families. We know how much the health of your eyes means for your quality of life. We’re committed to serving your complete eye care needs with the respect and care we would use in treating our own family.