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How Fireworks Can Damage Your Eyes

Take Precautions

It is the Holiday Season and that means parties and fireworks will be taking up most of America’s time. But a new study shows that flying debris from the explosion of your firework may be more dangerous to the eye, than the power of the explosion itself.


The cornea which is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber is the most vulnerable part of the body when it comes to firework injuries, and also the most common reason for trips to the Emergency Room during the Independence Day And Christmas holiday.

"The eye is the most frequently injured body part [related to use of fireworks] and accounts for more than 2,000 injuries annually," researcher Vanessa Alphonse of Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University in Blacksburg, Va., and colleagues write in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Using a cadaver the study compared the pressure from the blast of a firework to the injury sustained from the projectile of the firework. The used 18 blasts at three diverse distances which ranged from just under 9 inches to just under 3 inches. A 10-gram charges of gunpowder was used to simulate the blast from a firework explosion. High-speed video showed injuries were caused by unspent explosive material which was projected into the eye. So, the best way to avoid this type of injury is to wear eye protection.

Please use the below safety precautions when celebrating this holiday season.

• If you are not wearing eye protection, be sure you move to a safe distance from your launching area after the firework is lit.
• Have a bucket of water close by incase you are hit in the eye, or another body part. Also, in the event a fire starts in the grass. A hose is highly recommended.
• Do not aim fireworks at anyone. Be sure that they are aimed away from people watching.
• Do not hold fireworks in your hand. Set them on the ground to light.
• If you have been drinking excessively, let someone else do the lighting. Explosives and being drunk do not mix.


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