JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Fireworks send dozens of Arkansans a year to the emergency room with eye injuries.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Matthew Margolis with Southern Eye Associates in Jonesboro said while we are all excited to spend time with families and shooting off fireworks, safety needs to be a priority.
“There’s just proper things you can do that are really going to improve your safety,” Margolis said.
He said we need to follow them because people can suffer severe eye injuries from fireworks when people do not follow safety protocol.
“So first of all, have eye protection.”
He said that’s one thing that can help save you or your family from a severe eye injury.
“It is a once and done type of opportunity where you can lose your vision that quick.”
But what happens if you do have an eye injury? Dr. Margolis said eye injuries could vary in severity, but if you do have one, treat it as a very severe injury.
“So treating it like a ruptured globe is the way you want to proceed,” Margolis said. “So once you have a ruptured globe, that means the integrity of the wall of the eye has been violated, and you want to protect against any further damage.”
And that means you should not apply pressure to the injured eye.
“We recommend avoiding washing it, rubbing it, touching it. The best thing you can do is rest it closed.”
He said you could put a cover over your eye, but do not put any pressure on it, because it can damage the eye further.
Dr. Margolis said your eye is like your brain, and it does not heal itself after a severe injury.
He said to get to an eye doctor as quickly as possible.
Other tips to reduce the threat of an eye injury includes not picking up dud and misfires, keep a safe distance from fireworks, and to supervise children closely.