Fireworks Cause Eye Injuries


No Fireworks Are Safe, Even Innocent Sparkler Causes Thousands of Eye Injuries
We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July season, but please be aware of the facts about fireworks. Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency department each year, most of them involve children who suffer thousands of eye injuries. Although the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles. Every year thousands of patients need treatments who suffer a range of fireworks-related injuries, from cuts and bruises to damaged corneas and ruptured eyeballs. To help reduce the number of potentially blinding fireworks accidents this holiday, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is working to debunk common myths about fireworks injuries.

Here are five fireworks myths, debunked:

  1. Sparklers are safe for young children. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers were responsible for most of the injuries to children age 5 and younger.
  2. It’s safer to view fireworks than it is to light or throw them. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as the operators.
  3.  Consumer fireworks are safe. Sparklers and firecrackers each account for more than 1,400 injuries to the eyes.
  4. It’s safe to pick up a firework after it has been lit. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one.
  5. It’s not the Fourth of July without consumer fireworks. The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. The safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show. 

If you experience a fireworks injury, we urge you to minimize the damage to the eye:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub the eye. Rubbing may make the injury worse.
  • Do not attempt to rinse the eye.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye.
  • Do not remove objects from the eye,
  • Do not apply ointments or take pain medications before seeking medical help.

BOTOX® for Crossed Eyes?


Almost everyone knows that BOTOX® is a pretty popular treatment to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and help restore a youthful appearance. BOTOX® can also be helpful for migraine headaches, facial spasms, excessive sweating and a host of other problems. We also know that BOTOX® can also be helpful for treatment of crossed eyes! According to articles from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recent studies as well as other expert reports, BOTOX® injections can indeed be a possible treatment option for certain patients with crossed eyes.

If you or a child you know has crossed eyes and wishes to learn more about treatment options, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

“Pink Eye” Antibiotic Overuse for Conjunctivitis


Is Your Doctor Prescribing the Wrong Treatment for Pink Eye?
Based on our own experiences as well as recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology you should be aware that non eyecare practitioners tend to overprescribe antibiotics for a common eye infection that typically clears up without medication. A recent study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are getting the wrong treatment. About 60 percent of patients are prescribed antibiotic eyedrops, even though antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat this common eye infection.

About the Pink Eye Conjunctivitis Study
Researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center looked at data from a large managed care network in the United States. They identified the number of patients who filled antibiotic eyedrop prescriptions for acute conjunctivitis. Then they evaluated the characteristics of patients who filled a prescription compared with those who did not. Of approximately 300,000 patients diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis over a 14-year period, 58 percent filled a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. Among them, 20 percent filled a prescription for an antibiotic-steroid combination. Antibiotic-steroid drops are inappropriate for most patients with acute conjunctivitis because it may prolong or exacerbate certain types of viral infection.

Even more troubling, the authors found that the odds of filling a prescription depended more on a patient’s socioeconomic status than the patient's risk for developing a more serious eye infection. For example, patients who wear contact lenses and those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Pink eye affects 6 million people in the United States each year. There are three types: viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis. Antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat acute conjunctivitis. Most cases are caused by viral infections or allergies and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are often unnecessary for bacterial conjunctivitis because most cases are mild and would resolve on their own within 7 to 14 days without treatment.

The study also found:
  • Primary care providers (family physicians, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, and urgent care providers) diagnose a majority (83%) of patients. Only a minority were diagnosed by eye care providers such as ophthalmologists or optometrists.
  • Patients diagnosed by a primary care or urgent care provider were two to three times more likely to fill prescriptions for antibiotic eye drops than patients diagnosed by an ophthalmologist.
  • Patients who filled antibiotic prescriptions were significantly more likely to be white, younger, better educated, and more affluent than patients who did not fill prescriptions.
The authors say there are several reasons why antibiotics are over prescribed. It is a challenge to differentiate bacterial conjunctivitis from the viral and allergic forms. All three types may have overlapping features, such as a red eye, thin discharge, irritation, and sensitivity to light. Health care providers may tend to “err on the side of caution” and prescribe antibiotics “just in case.” Patients are often unaware of the harmful effects of antibiotics and may falsely believe that antibiotics are necessary for the infection to resolve.

If you or someone you know develops “pink eye” conjunctivitis please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

AMD & Low Glycemic Diet


Does a Low Glycemic Diet Help AMD?

Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University also believe that the study, published in the journal PNAS, points to potential biomarkers of AMD. These can be used to predict when a person is at risk for this disease, which is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50. Using a mouse research model, the researchers observed that a high–glycemic diet resulted in the development of many AMD features, including loss of function of cells at the back of the eye called retinal pigmented epithelial atrophy (RPE) and of the cells that capture light, called photoreceptors-both of which are precursors to Dry AMD, whereas a low–glycemic diet did not. Importantly, switching from a high–glycemic diet to a low–glycemic diet arrested damage to the retina. The authors of the study suggested that these experimental results may indicate that switching from a high–glycemic diet to a low–glycemic one is beneficial to eye health in people that are heading towards developing AMD.

If you or someone you know is has not had a recent eye exam, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

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