Health experts warn of eye-related injuries caused by fireworks - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Health experts warn of eye-related injuries caused by fireworks

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There's a reason why experts say you should leave pyrotechnics to the professionals. New statistics from the government show a recent rise in fireworks-related injuries.

Dr. Mark Ewald with the Vanderbilt Eye Institute says eye injuries can be devastating and common this time of year.

"Protective goggles, protective glasses, your regular eye glasses, perhaps even sunglasses. If you're not going to use eye protection, then the best thing to do is to light the fuse and get a safe distance away to prevent any thermal injuries, chemical injuries or traumatic injuries to your eyes," Ewald said.

If you do get something in your eye, flush it with tap water or solution. Do not rub your eye because that could cause greater injury or an infection.

If you are losing vision or have a lot of pain, you'll want to see a doctor.

Jameson Lamb knows firsthand how devastating an eye injury can be. He was lighting fireworks with friends two years ago.

"We thought they were all done and one more of the Roman candles discharged and hit me directly in the right eye," Lamb said.

Lamb may someday regain full vision, but his eye was severely damaged. He had to undergo a cornea transplant.

This year, he says he'll watch the fireworks from a distance, which is something he's thankful he can do.

Doctors say that even sparklers burn at up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the same as a blow torch.

Rules about fireworks vary from city to city, but it is illegal to set off fireworks in Davidson County unless you have a permit for a private event and hire professionals to handle things.

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