July is Eye Injury Prevention Month and Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Shares Tips on Avoiding Seasonal Vision Hazards

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July is recognized as Eye Injury Prevention Month and renowned eye surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner shares tips on avoiding top five vision hazards more common in the summer time.

Wear Eye Protection While Performing Outdoor Activities

Remember to Protect Your Eyes

Protective eyewear could prevent corneal abrasions.

July is Eye Injury Prevention Month and Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on avoiding seasonal vision hazards. Here are a few common activities that are hazardous to one’s vision and tips on preventing eye injuries.

1. Gardening. While gardening, any dirt or debris could potentially get lodged in the eye causing a corneal abrasion. “Recently I treated a patient with an eye infection that received a corneal abrasion from planting flowers,” says Dr. Shofner. He adds, “Many may not think to wear protective eyewear but accidents happen and it’s not as uncommon as people might think. Additionally, soil contaminated by dog faeces may contract Toxocara. Toxocara is essentially dog worms, which hatch in the intestine and spread. Ocular toxocariasis occurs when Toxocara larvae migrate to the eye. Symptoms and signs of ocular toxocariasis include vision loss, eye inflammation or damage to the retina.

2. Mowing/Trimming. Check for rocks and debris before mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. These objects can become dangerous projectiles when shot out from lawn mowers and trimmers such as weed whackers. It’s imperative to wear safety goggles or full face mask and be sure children and pets are at a safe distance.

3. Leaf Blowing. Eye injuries can result from swirling dust, pebbles and twigs propelled by blowers. It’s recommended to wear eye protection, hearing protection, work gloves and dust mask while using a leaf blower.

4. Pest/Weed Control. Many bug and lawn sprays can burn delicate eye tissues. Always wear goggles, read instructions carefully, work in well-ventilated areas and make sure the nozzle is pointed away from you. Wear protective gloves and always thoroughly wash your hands after treating the area with chemicals. Try using non-toxic products that are safe for both humans and pets.

5. Home Maintenance/Repair. A recent public survey commissioned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) revealed only 35 percent of those surveyed always wear protective eyewear when doing home repair or projects. Wear safety glasses while using any hand tool (electric or manual). Common home tools include: drills, hammers, chain saw, pruners, paint brushes, sprayers to seal or stain decks. Keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced.

Additionally, lighting up left over fireworks from Independence Day celebration can also be a common vision hazard. “Nashville area received lots of rain on July 4th and caused many to postpone setting off fireworks,” says Dr. Shofner. It’s imperative that parents supervise their children and never let them play with fireworks…this includes sparklers, too.

An estimated 10,500 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2014, with 7,000 of them during a one-month study period of June 20 to July 20, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The eye injuries were caused mostly by firecrackers and were mostly contusions, lacerations and burns, but there were many other injuries as well.

Experts say and Dr. Shofner agrees that more than 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented by simply taking a few precautions and wearing safety glasses. “Taking a few extra safety precautions while performing any activity could decrease one’s risk of eye injury,” says. Dr. Shofner. Know that it’s important to wear eye protection for any task that can produce fragments, dust particles or other eye irritants.

About Shofner Vision Center
Shofner Vision Center offers by far the most caring, responsible group of professionals who pay close attention to details to ensure every patient is given the best experience. Anyone that experiences any eye related issue should schedule a comprehensive eye exam to determine if eye damage is present.

Shofner Vision Center treats nearly every condition of the eye including LASIK and cataract surgery. Dr. Shofner has been practicing in Tennessee since 1990 and has performed more than 10,000 cataract and ocular surgeries and more than 30,000 LASIK surgeries on Middle Tennessee eyes.

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Dr. Stewart Shofner

Mrs. Trish Whiteside
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