Tag Archives: safety

Good Visibility is Essentially for a Safe Halloween

On Halloween, an assortment of ballerinas, clowns, ghosts, and other goblins will have their eyes on just one thing—candy. Roaming dimly lit neighborhoods is part of the fun for children in pursuit of treats, but it can also be dangerous.

“Trick-or-treaters and parents need to remember that on Halloween, to be safe, you must be seen,” said Dr. Richard A. Driscoll from Total Eye Care in Keller. “Studies have shown that a child’s risk of injury or death as a result of being hit by a car doubles around Halloween.”  ……….. Read More

Protect Your Eyes by Attending Professional Fireworks Displays This July 4th

Each year over the holiday, Thousands of adults and children are seriously injured as a result of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices. Many burns and injuries affect eyesight, permanently damaging and in some cases blinding the victims. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 20-25% of all fireworks related injuries involve the eyes.

Believe it or not, sparklers are the highest cause of fireworks injuries for children under five requiring trips to the emergency room. Another surprising fact is that 1/2 of the fireworks related injuries are to the bystanders. Be safe and attend a professional fireworks display in your area. More information and a list of fireworks displays in the Northeast Tarrant County is available.

LASIK – Is It Safer Than Contact Lenses?

It’s all over the radio these days a LASIK surgeon touts “some experts believe LASIK is safer than contact lenses”. In reality this is a difficult statement to backup properly, given that we are really comparing apples to oranges. Why is this comparison difficult? Comparing LASIK to another refractive surgery procedure, such as PRK, is rather straight forward because the complications are similar for both procedures and the opportunity for complications is essentially nil after the patient is stable, typically 6 months to a year after surgery. A contact lens wearer, on the other hand, has a lower complication rate. When compared to LASIK or PRK contact lens complications are less severe and less frequent, however, a contact lens wearer’s potential for complications will last as long as the patient is wearing their lenses, often for decades.

Both LASIK and contact lenses are safe and in our office we utilize both techniques, choosing which is best for the patient. It is our practice to discuss all of the refractive options with our patients. We weigh the risks and benefits of each option before proceeding.

As a practical matter the incidence of vision threatening problems in compliant contact lens wearers is very small. When a patient does have a problem, it typically manifests itself as a red eye usually resulting from poor care or not replacing their contacts as often as recommended. It is exceedingly rare for a contact lens related red eye to cause a patient to require surgery to resolve the problem.

This prompts me to ask “what does the research say”. In my mind that’s what matters. Let the studies show us which is safer. The most important contact lens and LASIK complications are those that have resulted in a loss of vision and therefore that is the best criteria to compare LASIK versus extended wear contact lenses. A 2005 study including almost 5,000 patients followed over a 1 year period showed that 30 day Ciba Night & Day contact lens wearers, experienced an overall rate of presumed infiltrative keratitis (a type of corneal ulcer) of 0.18%. Of those experiencing keratitis 0.036% resulted in a loss of vision and 0.144% experienced keratitis without vision loss.

Numerous studies published in 2005 and 2006 indicated a complication rate for LASIK, resulting in a loss of best corrected vision, ranging from 0.6% to 7.0%.

Given the facts outlined above, I feel it is doing patients a disservice to state or imply that refractive surgery is as safe or safer than silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Both LASIK/PRK and silicone hydrogel contact lenses have come a long way in reducing both the rate and severity of complications and in looking at the numbers both are safe.

I still believe LASIK and PRK are good options for patients. I, in fact, have had LASIK and at our office it is still one of the refractive options we present to our patients. However, the research does not support the statement that refractive surgery is as safe as contact lens wear nor should it be promoted as such.

Technorati Tags: Extended Wear, Laser Vision Correction, , , ,

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 IceSticker.com

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.