A latest U.S. study shows that fireworks can damage the eyeball in a number of ways. The study has been made public just ahead of the 4th of July celebrations.
The research was done in order to identify the core reason behind 2000 annual eye injuries that take place in the United States. The study elaborates that fireworks are among the main causes of eye injuries in the U.S. It also says that most of the people injure their eyes during the Independence Day celebrations. However, the board has failed to provide the exact mechanism as to how it happens.
Some argue that the flying shrapnel that are used in the making of fireworks can make the eyes bleed or rupture, while others argue that the propulsion and waves after a firework are a reason enough to disturb the sensitive layers of the eye. In both cases, as long as eyes are not properly protected through goggles, they will remain vulnerable to such damages.
The researchers consider the blast waves as the main reason for eye damage during fireworks.
"This for the first time scientifically proves you have to have the impact from an object such as a bottle rocket to cause serious eye injuries," said Stefan Duma, who heads the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Duma, who led the new research, said he is a big fan of fireworks.
The research group devised by Stefan Dena reiterated that the more the eye is near to the blast, the more damage it gets. The unspent gunpowder flung onto the eyeball by the blast produces surface scratches on it. The damage to the eye is thus directly proportional to the distance from the blast.
Dr. Terrence O'Brien from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami said he had seen eye injuries from fireworks ranging from minor abrasions to complete loss of an eye.
"Of the 2,000 injuries every Fourth of July, the vast majority are in young adults and children," O'Brien told Reuters Health, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun. "It's ironic that while celebrating our independence they lose their visual independence due to sight-threatening injuries."
To circumvent this problem, the researchers have asked the spectators to use safety glasses as a protection.