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Silverstein Eye Centers has noticed an increase in preventable eye injuries in the spring and summertime. Increases in warm weather days bring most people out of the house and into their yards, athletic fields and swimming pools/lakes, and expose them to a number of potentially serious, though preventable eye injuries.

Frequently, on bright sunny days we leave our homes without sunglasses, which play a critical role in protecting the retina from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It is imperative that sunglasses, regardless of color or degree of tint be labeled as blocking 100% of the ultraviolet light. If this is not labeled on the glasses then the less expensive lenses almost certainly do not have the invisible ultraviolet protection coating necessary to protect the eye from those harmful ultraviolet rays.

Now working in our yards with lawnmowers, weed eaters, tillers and other tools, it is imperative that we wear proper eye protection to protect us from flying particles of dirt, stones, or tree branches. In particular, it is important to keep young children away from the path of these tools, as they enjoy following their parents around the yard, and even at significant distances, are accidentally in harms’ way from flying debris such as sticks and stones coming out of the lawnmower shoot.

Lastly, sporting events such as baseball, football, and soccer place us at great risk for the blunt ocular injury, which can result in and orbital fracture, corneal abrasion, or rupture of the eye itself. Proper protective safety impact resistant goggles and/or facemasks are extremely important in reducing facial and ocular injury, and should be an essential part of the gear and clothing used at these contact-sporting events.

Tens of thousands of cases of blindness or severe ocular injury are reported each year and treated by emergency rooms and eye doctors around the country. Most of these injuries are preventable. Children in particular are at great risk, as they do not understand the significance of these risks. Please have a safe and happy summer season, and remember to protect yourselves and your families form these preventable injuries. If you have any questions regarding eye injuries visit our offices or call 816-358-3600 for and appointment.

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