Category Archives: emergency

FDA Study Cites Contact Lenses as Leading Cause of Medical Device Related Emergency Room Visits

During a 24 month study of 100 hospitals contact lenses accounted for 23% of
medical device related emergency room visits involving children.

In a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics entitled “Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children” it was found that 23% of the medical device related emergency room visits involving  children from birth to 21 years of age were contact lens related, this is in contrast to the next closest category,  injuries due to a puncture by a hypodermic needle, which placed a distant second at 8%.   An additional noteworthy finding was that an another 6% of the ER visits  involved lacerations caused by eyeglasses.

The study did not outline how the children were using their contact lenses.  Were they caring for and cleaning them properly?  Did they discard the lenses according to the replacement interval prescribed by their doctor and what type of contact lenses were involved in the study?  The injuries incurred while wearing eyeglasses did not specify the type of activity the child was participating in when the incident occurred.

Contact lenses are medical devices and as such require a prescription from an eye doctor with professional fitting and followup. In clinical practice we have found that patients that follow the guidelines below rarely experience contact lens related complications.

Injuries due to eyeglass lenses and frames was also a significant source of injuries in the study. We must therefore, not forget to provide our children with protective eyewear when they participate in sports.  Sports eyewear has come a long way since the days when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captured his trademark look.  Sports eyewear has now become fashionable and safe.

More information on contact lenses.

Protecting Your Eyes While playing Sports

If you have ever played sports and worn glasses, you know the limitations in doing so. Glasses present obvious mobility and peripheral vision issues. In addition, glasses offer little protection and actually can contribute to damage to the eyes if glass lenses are shattered.

Contact lenses offer a safe, clear and comfortable alternative for the athlete on any field or court. Peripheral vision is not an issue with contact lenses. However, contact lenses don’t protect the eyes other than offer some protection for the cornea.

Winter and indoor sports like ice hockey, basketball, football, and gymnastics, along with water and pool activities, baseball, softball, racquet sports and golf contribute the greatest number of eye injuries.  Read more here.

The Dangers of Not Discarding Your Contact Lenses

With the advent of disposable contact lenses, cases of Contact Lens Acute Red Eyes (C.L.A.R.E) have been greatly reduced. With the new generation of contact lens materials, known as silicone hydrogels, extended wear contact lenses have made a resurgence. The incidence of vision last as a result from contact lens wear has been greatly reduced the chances of a patient losing vision as a result of contact lens wear, thus actually making 30 day extended wear contact lenses safer than LASIK.

Here is a good video that talks about the dangers of stretching your contact lenses.

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The study comparing the safety of extended wear contact lenses vs LASIK did not restrict itself to patients that complied with the wearing schedule recommended by the contact lens manufacturer and the patient’s doctor.  We find that if a patient complies with the prescribed wearing schedule then the incidence of contact lens related red eyes is very low.

Almost without exception if a patient comes in to our office with a red eye they almost always have exceeded their wearing schedule.  So the moral story, discard your lenses following the prescribed wearing schedule and enjoy safe contact lens wear.

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Q: I Have Been Seeing Spots Before My Eyes for About a Week, is This Serious?

A: Generally, seeing spots or “floaters” in you vision is a harmless, but annoying condition caused by particles of natural materials floating in the jelly-like fluid in the back chamber of your eye. These spots are more common with age and treatment is rarely necessary. These spots, however, can also be a symptom of retinal problems such as retinal holes or detachments or as a result of diabetic complications or hypertension. Floaters may be more dangerous if accompanied by flashes of light. These flashes may appear as lightening bolts or merely sparkles that you see to the side of your vision. Evaluation of flashes or floaters requires urgent attention. I always recommend that we see patients with flashes and floaters to differentiate the cause of these symptoms.

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ICE Could Save Your Life

ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. I came across this a couple of days ago and remembered that I had done this to my phone and my wife’s phone some time ago and thought this information was worth sharing.Click to go to the ICE Sticker website

First a little background on ICE. A campaign was started by Bob Brotchie, and Vodafone in May of 2005, only a few months prior to the London terrorist attack. During the terrorist incident paramedics found that they had no way of getting in touch with some of the victim’s families. It was after this that the campaign really started to gain momentum.

To participate in the ICE program all you need to do is enter the contact information in the address book of your phone with ICE or ICE-Person’s name being listed as the last name. I also placed “in case of emergency” in the company name and my relationship to my contact in the title field.

You can add additional contacts as ICE2, ICE3 etc. I have listed my contacts twice, with one of the listings being with a space before ICE so it shows up first in your address book. I would also recommend making a category called emergency and associating the listings with that category. Don’t forget to tell your contact person that you have listed them in your phone.

Next it’s recommended to place a sticker on your phone so that a firefighter, policeman, paramedic or other first responder will know that your phone contains emergency contact information that is easy to find.

For more information on the ICE program or if you don’t want to make a sticker yourself you can get some great stickers and more information from

For the month of March Total Eye Care will be offering free ICE stickers at both our Colleyville and Keller Offices.

Monday I’ll get back to some eye care related posts and answer some patient questions.