The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

July 27, 2013

Protect your eyes, window to the soul


* Practice good judgment when purchasing toys. Forgo toys with darts, arrows or other projectile pieces. And keep your kids away from BB and pellet guns until they are officially trained in firearm safety.

* Pop your corks carefully. Champagne corks can fire out of a bottle very quickly. Be sure to practice proper cork removal – including not shaking the bottle, holding it away from yourself and others, and keeping slight downward pressure on the cork as it comes out of the bottle.

* Wear the right sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses with 99 to 100 percent ultraviolet (UV) protection greatly reduces risk of UV damage to your cornea, lens and other parts of the eye.

2. Signs your eye may require medical attention. It’s important to seek the care of a trained health care professional if you notice these symptoms:

* A cut or tear on the eyelid

* Trouble with vision

* Obvious pain

* A protruding eye

* Blood in the white of the eye

* An object in the eye or eyelid that is difficult to remove

* Unusual pupil shape or size

Diagnosing and treating an eye condition early is the best way to ensure recovery. Don’t hesitate to visit your health care provider if you have concerns about an eye injury or condition.

3. What to do if you suffer an eye injury. Again, seek medical care immediately. Neglecting to do so can potentially lead to long-term eye damage and even blindness.

Here are a few things to help lessen the chance of further damage prior to reaching your health care provider:

* Refrain from touching or rubbing your eye.

* Don’t put any medication or ointment on your eye.

* If there is an object in your eye or eyelid that isn’t easily removable, don’t try to take it out.

* Flush out chemicals with clean water.

Good vision helps you live a more active and enjoyable life. By using these tips, you can help keep your eyes healthy and continue to visualize all that the world has to offer.

Daniel Peterson, M.D., is a Mayo Clinic Health System ophthalmologist.

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Health & Fitness coverage is supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, preserving the health and well-being of southern Minnesota communities.

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