Current Eye News
September 17, 2017
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Eye Injuries from Laundry Packets On the Rise



Written By: Dan Gudgel
Jun. 30, 2017


Between 2012 and 2015, more than 1,200 3- and 4-year-olds in the United States had chemical burns to the eye from laundry detergent packets. In 2012 there were 12 injuries reported. In 2015, there were 480 eye injuries to children from laundry packets. That’s a more than 30-fold increase in these injuries among kids during that time. A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology in March detailed the statistics.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association have teamed up to help. The Academy and the AMA are asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Association of Poison Control Centers to review the current manufacturer standards for laundry packets to see whether they need to be updated. The current standards are voluntary, not mandatory.

Laundry packets or laundry pods are often brightly colored, and kids may mistake them for toys or candy. If a laundry packet is popped, the detergent can severely burn the cornea, eyelids and skin around the eyes. Chemical burns to the eyes can result in lifelong decreased vision or total blindness. If children swallow laundry packets, the poisoning can be fatal.

If you use laundry pods, make sure you know the risks. Store them safely and keep them out of the hands of children.

In 2015, Consumer Reports pulled its product recommendation for laundry packets because of injuries to children. And in 2016, toddlers at home were found to be more at risk of chemical burns than working adults.

August 24, 2017
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  • Three Things You Can Learn About Dry Eye

    from Jennifer Aniston  

    Written By: Reena Mukamal
    Sep. 02, 2016


    For Jennifer Aniston, there are two more dry eyes in the house than she’d like. The actress recently revealed that she has dry eye condition.

    Affecting about 5 million Americans, dry eye causes discomfort and can interfere with day-to-day activities like reading and watching television. Aniston shared that she suffered with dry eye for years before getting diagnosed and treated.

    Here are three things we can learn about this common condition from her experience.

    1. What is dry eye? When the eyes do not produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep them healthy and comfortable, they can develop dry eye. Aniston complained of irritated, itchy and sometimes swollen eyes that felt worse after reading scripts. Other symptoms can include stinging or burning eyes, excess tearing and discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
    2. Who can get dry eye? Dry eye can be caused by a number of different biological and environmental factors, including hormonal changes in women after menopause, common medications that reduce tear secretion (e.g. antihistamines, certain blood pressure medicines, anti-depressants), and exposure to windy climates or air conditioning. Sometimes dry eye comes hand-in-hand with certain autoimmune diseases like lupus. Other times, diseases of the gland in the eyelid can cause dry eye.
    3. How do you treat dry eye? While Aniston suffered from symptoms for years with only temporary relief, dry eye can be managed and discomfort alleviated. Depending on the cause of dry eye, your ophthalmologist may use various approaches to treat your condition. Treatment may include use of over-the-counter artificial tear drops, prescription medication, nutritional supplements, or, in some cases, minor surgery. Your ophthalmologist can help guide you to the right treatment.


August 08, 2017
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The Next Total Solar Eclipse: Aug. 21, 2017 across North America

Solar Eclipse & Eye Safety

(more complete information can be found at


There is only one safe way to look directly at the sun, whether during an eclipse or not: through special-purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in “eclipse glasses” or in hand-held solar viewers. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.

Keep in mind that ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters are not safe for looking at the sun.

Steps to follow for safely watching a solar eclipse:

  • Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them.
  • Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
  • Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
  • Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.
  • Talk with an expert astronomer if you want to use a special solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.

For information about where to get the proper eyewear or handheld viewers, check out the American Astronomical Society.

August 08, 2017
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