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Tips for Safe Summer Sight

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First Aid that you need to know for eye injuries

When making your summer things-to-do list, our Lee's Summit, Missouri, eye doctor reminds you to add “protect my eyes” to every plan. Many typical summer activities – both recreational and practical – can put your vision at risk. And as much as we welcome our new and existing patients to Eyecare Specialties, we’d rather not need to treat you for eye injuries!

So to promote your awareness of possible risks to your eyes – and to help prevent you from needing emergency eye care, our optometrist compiled the following list of basic summer hazards. Also, in case you do suffer an eye injury or ocular trauma, we’ve outlined some first aid tips to relieve your pain. For further assistance with eye injuries, please call our Lee's Summit, Missouri, eye care office to book an urgent eye exam!

When to safeguard your summer sight

  • Trips to the beach, pool, or anywhere outdoors: the sun’s rays pose one of the most powerful risks to your eye health. Wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV radiation, and top your outfit with a wide-brimmed hat to keep your whole face in the shade.
  • Mowing the lawn: your lawnmower or weed whacker can kick debris and pebbles up into your face and eyes. Take care to remove these hazards from your yard before trimming the grass. Even better, wear safety glasses to cover your delicate eyes and surrounding skin.
  • Sports: wear eye guards for sports with whizzing balls, such as racquetball and squash. For football and baseball, a protective eye shield mounted on your helmet is more effective.
  • Gardening or cleaning: wash your hands well after contact with any chemicals, such as fertilizers or cleaning products
  • Fireworks: if you’re hosting a big bash and want to dazzle the crowd with fireworks, our Lee's Summit eye doctor recommends choosing a different way to make your party sizzle! Some of the most severe eye injuries in the summer result from fireworks, which create a blaze that can completely burn and destroy your vision.
  • Swimming: wearing contact lenses while swimming isn’t smart. Contacts absorb and trap dangerous water-borne bacteria on the surface of your eye. When these bacteria breed, they can lead to serious eye infections and vision loss.

What should you do when eye injuries occur?

WARNING: If you suspect that any object, such as a metal shaving or sliver of glass, has pierced your eye – go to a hospital emergency room immediately! This type of eye injury can lead to blindness and needs prompt medical treatment.

For other types of eye injuries, our Lee's Summit eye doctor has provided these first aid guidelines:

Exposure to chemicals

  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Wash out your eyes with a lot of clean water – any type of sink water is fine
  • After about 15 minutes of flushing your eye with water, contact your eye doctor to ask about the effects of the specific type of chemical and whether additional treatment is required

Ocular trauma – black eye

  • To reduce pain and swelling, apply a cold compress to your eye gently (do not press on your eye)
  • Take an OTC pain-reliever
  • Call your eye doctor for guidance if there is bleeding, pain, or a change in your vision

Foreign object stuck under your eyelid

  • Don’t rub your eye
  • Pull your upper lid down and blink; keep blinking hard
  • If the object is still stuck, rinse your eye with sterile saline
  • If you cannot dislodge the item, contact your eye doctor for help

Scratched eye

  • Don’t rub your eye
  • Flush your eye with sterile saline or clean water
  • Do not insert contact lenses
  • If redness or pain persists, contact your eye doctor immediately. Sometimes, antibiotic treatment is required

If your own first aid efforts do not bring relief, do not hesitate – contact our Lee's Summit, Missouri, eye doctor for assistance, or book an urgent eye exam at Eyecare Specialties. We’re here to keep your vision safe all summer long!