Eye Injury Awareness

July is eye injury awareness month which makes this the perfect time to remind everyone about the dangers of fireworks and the injuries they can cause. Thousands of revelers will suffer eye injuries from fireworks mishaps during the four-week span around July 4th.  Fireworks can cause permanent eye damage as result of burns, corneal abrasions, ruptures, and retinal detachment, and according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 14% of all firework injures reported in 2017 were eyes related injuries.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, if an eye injury from fireworks occurs:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.

  • Treat only the most minor eye injuries at home. 

  • Do not rub your eyes.

  • Do not rinse your eyes.

  • Do not apply pressure.

  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.

  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Injury statistics from 2017 Fireworks Annual Report: Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2017:

  • There were 8 fatalities and 12,900 Injuries related to firework accidents.

  • Approximately 8,700 of the fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms during the two weeks prior to and after July fourth. 

  • An estimated 1,200 of those emergency room visits were associated with sparklers.

  • 70% of those with fireworks-related injuries were male.

  • Children under 15 years of age accounted for more than a third of the firework related injuries.

Home Health offers care for the visually impaired. Common conditions other than injury that cause permanent vision loss include age related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic related eye disease.

Spread the word through your social media posts about celebrating safely throughout the summer. Include tips on sun safety, fireworks safety, and the importance of staying hydrated.

Visit tagwebstore.com for patient information on vision health and other conditions commonly treated by home health and hospice caregivers.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Age-related macular degeneration, AMD, is the is the leading cause of vision loss among older adults. AMD is an age-related condition that affects central vision. Early signs of AMD are the appearance of shadowy distortions in the middle of a person’s vision. As the disease progresses those distortions become dark spots that create voids. 

Strike a chord with geriatric care providers this February by explaining how home health improves outcomes for visually impaired seniors. For instance, many home health agencies use low-vision therapists to help AMD patients cope with not being able to see what is directly in front of them. They teach patients to boost their remaining vision by using support tools and developing their peripheral vision.

Promote the benefits of In-home evaluation. Home health therapists evaluate patients’ homes for safety hazards, improper lighting, and the need for sight assistance devices. The proper environmental modifications can help AMD patients maintain their independence longer.

Low vision tools for AMD patient:

  • Specialized eyeglass prescription with very high magnification and prisms. Often with yellow tint to increase contrast.

  • Magnifiers for print and electronic devices

  • Increased lighting

  • Use of devices that respond to voice command

Researchers believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. They have linked certain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, E, and zinc to eye health. Other risk reducing practices are similar to those that help prevent heart disease and stroke:

  • Maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  • Eat an eye-healthy diet of green leafy vegetables and oily fish.

  • Exercise regularly

  • Don’t smoke

Call on the ophthalmologists and eye care specialists in your service area to market your agency and the ways low-vision patients can benefit from your home care services.

Visit the Home Care Observance Calendar to keep track of upcoming marketing opportunities.