Insight on BCTV: Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Interactions

Mark Levengood discusses Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Interactions with the Visually Impaired with Scott Maulick, a long-time client at VRC. Watch July 2019’s BCTV’s Insight here…

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Fireworks Eye Safety Advice from AAO

Fireworks Eye Safety

Story Credit: American Academy of Ophthalmology

The numbers are clear: fireworks are dangerous, and the month around July 4th is the most dangerous time. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent annual fireworks injury report (PDF) fireworks caused eight deaths and nearly 13,000 injuries in 2017. Two-thirds of the fireworks injuries treated in emergency rooms happened between mid-June and mid-July.


The most recent Consumer Product Safety Commission report found that 14% of fireworks injuries were eye injuries. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment — all of which can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss.

Children and young adults are frequent victims. Children age 15 and under accounted for 36% of the total injuries, according to the commission’s report. And half of the injuries requiring an emergency room visit were to people age 20 or younger.

Even sparklers can be dangerous, as they burn at more than 2,000 degrees Farenheit. Sparklers were responsible for 1,200 of the injuries in the latest report, and a sparkler mishap caused one of the fireworks deaths reported in 2017.

The people injured by fireworks aren’t necessarily handling the explosives themselves. In fact, 65% of people injured by fireworks were bystanders, according to another study. The statistics don’t lie. Children and people not handling fireworks themselves are in as much danger as the people actually lighting fireworks.

What to Do for a Fireworks Eye Injury

Fireworks-related eye injuries can combine blunt force trauma, heat burns and chemical exposure. If an eye injury from fireworks occurs, it should be considered a medical emergency.

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not rinse your eyes.
  • Do not apply pressure.
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen unless directed by a doctor.

 

Fireworks: The Blinding Truth

Fireworks safety tips

The best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional, public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

If you attend or live near a professional fireworks show:

  • Respect safety barriers, follow all safety instructions and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

For those who decide to purchase and use consumer fireworks in states where they are legal (PDF), follow these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young, burn at very high temperatures and should be not be handled by young children. Children may not understand the danger involved with fireworks and may not act appropriately while using the devices or in case of emergency.
  • Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves, or grass and other flammable materials.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning or “dud” fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

 


About the American Academy of Ophthalmology: The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, and advancing the profession of ophthalmology. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care.

 

Insight on BCTV: National Federation for the Blind

Mark Levengood talks about The National Federation of the Blind with Rosemary Freedman. Watch June 2019’s BCTV’s Insight here…

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Dine in the Dark – September 26, 2019


Tickets On Sale Now!

Buy Tickets

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Crowne Plaza, Reading
1741 Papermill Road
Reading, PA 19610

Buy Tickets

 


Join us for Dine in the Dark, an evening of powerful messages from clients, caregivers, and community leaders personally touched by visual impairment. Special thanks to all our sponsors and underwriters, including 2019’s Title Sponsor,

 

Whether from personal experience, a family member, friend, or acquaintance, practically everyone is touched by the reality of blindness or low vision. Realizing the ongoing need for blind and low vision awareness within our community, Vision Resource Center of Berks County along with the Kutztown University Teachers of the Visually Impaired will host Dine in the Dark on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Reading. The positive community support of this evening’s event allows Vision Resource Center of Berks County and the Kutztown University Visual Impairment Program the continued opportunity to help blind and visually impaired children and adults in our community.

If you would like more information about Dine in the Dark, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Carolyn Krick: 610-375-8407 ext. 110 (ckrick@vrcberks.org) or Bill Sutton: 610-375-8407 ext. 117 (bsutton@vrcberks.org). The Sponsorship Opportunities form can also be downloaded HERE.

Your continued support allows Vision Resource Center of Berks County and the Kutztown University Visual Impairment Program the ongoing opportunity to help blind and visually impaired children and adults in our community.

 

For Sponsorship Opportunities, please click HERE.

 

If you can’t make the event but would still like to donate, please click on a link below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insight on BCTV: Leisure Activities for the Visually Impaired

Lori Schermerhorn gets an insiders perspective on how to adapt common leisure activities to enjoy them despite visual impairments from Mark Levengood and Tom Devlin. Watch May 2019’s BCTV’s Insight here…

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Dine in the Dark Sponsorship Opportunities


Vision Resource Center of Berks County

and the Kutztown University Teachers of the Visually Impaired

proudly present

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Crowne Plaza, Reading
1741 Papermill Road
Reading, PA 19610


Help Vision Resource Center of Berks County and the Kutztown University Teachers of the Visually Impaired make a difference in our community by partnering with us for Dine in the Dark 2019.


Please click HERE for the 2019 Sponsorship Opportunities form.


Imagine waking up one morning and your world was dark, fuzzy, or cloudy. What if you could no longer drive to work, the grocery store, or to your child’s after school functions because of vision loss. How would you cope? How would your family cope? The Vision Resource Center of Berks County has created the Dine in the Dark event for people with vision to experience a meal in darkness.

Dine in the Dark will take place on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Papermill Road, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610. Educational activities and demonstrations will begin at 5PM and dinner will be served while you are blindfolded at 6PM.

Vision Resource Center of Berks County, in partnership with Kutztown University Teachers of the Visually Impaired, will present this enlightening opportunity for you to experience an evening without sight and then listen to powerful messages from clients, caregivers, and community members about their stories and experiences.

We are proud to announce that Ted and Lisa Lavender of Berks Fire Water Restorations are once again the co-chairs of this event. Please download and review the Sponsorship Opportunities Form HERE and consider becoming a sponsor for this event to show your support for those within our local community living with vision loss. Individual Dine in the Dark tickets and program ads are also available. Your support will allow Vision Resource Center of Berks County and Kutztown University Teachers of the Visually Impaired to continue their work with blind and visually impaired children and adults.

Thank you in advance for your support of this worthy cause. For additional information about Dine in the Dark sponsorship opportunities, please contact Carolyn Krick at 610-375-8407 ext. 110 (ckrick@vrcberks.org) or Bill Sutton at 610-375-8407 ext. 117 (bsutton@vrcberks.org). If you wish to sponsor via credit card, please click any of the options below for secure PayPal options.

If payment is made by credit card, please download the Dine in the Dark Sponsorship Opportunities Form HERE, fill it out, and return it to us via fax (610-375-6467), email, or mail (2020 Hampden Blvd., Reading, PA 19604).


Platinum/Title Sponsor* only one available – $5,000
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Gold Sponsor* – $2,500
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Silver Sponsor* – $1,500
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Bronze Sponsor* – $500
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Full Page Program Ad* – $400
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Half Page Program Ad* – $250
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

Patron Sponsor* – $250
to pay by credit card, CLICK HERE

 

*Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

May is Healthy Vision and Ultraviolet Awareness Month

May is Healthy Vision and Ultraviolet Awareness Month

News Release from American Academy of Ophthalmology

Taking Simple Steps Can Help Protect Your Sight

Approximately 37 million adults in America have age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma, all of which can cause visual impairment or blindness, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI).[i] However, recent studies show that making healthy choices and getting regular eye exams can help reduce a person’s risk of vision loss. In support of NEI’s Healthy Vision Month in May, Vision Resource Center of America and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are encouraging everyone to take charge of their eye health and preserve their sight by following some simple tips.

 

Live a healthy lifestyle.

Eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can lower your risk of eye disease. Foods that boost eye health include dark green leafy greens, cold water fish and citrus fruits. A study recently published in the journal Ophthalmology showed that a diet rich in vitamin C can cut the risk of cataract progression by nearly a third.[ii] Other research shows that smoking doubles the risk of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, is linked to cataracts, and worsens dry eye.

 

Know your family history.

Certain eye diseases can be inherited. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing the condition. In addition, a family history of glaucoma increases your chances of developing the condition by four to nine times. So talk to your family members about what eye conditions they have. It can help you and your eye care professionals evaluate whether you may be at higher risk.

 

Get a dilated eye exam.

Many eye diseases may have no symptoms in their early stages. A dilated eye exam is the best way to detect eye diseases so they can be treated as soon as possible to help prevent vision loss. The Academy recommends that adults have a baseline comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist – a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care – by the time they turn 40. This is when age-related eye changes often begin to occur. People who are 65 and older should get an eye exam every one to two years. Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure or known eye diseases may need to go earlier and more often.

 

Wear sunglasses.

Over time, exposure to UV rays from the sun can increase your risk of cataracts, certain cancers and growths in or around the eyes. When choosing sunglasses, pick ones that block out at least 99 percent of UV rays. A wide-brimmed hat offers great additional protection as well.

 

Use protective eyewear to prevent injuries.

Roughly a third of all emergency room visits for eye-related issues stem from traumatic eye injuries, according to a recent study in the journal Ophthalmology.[iii] To help prevent these injuries, wear the right protective eyewear when doing activities that could cause eye injuries, such as home repair, garden work and sports.

“People don’t often realize that simple, everyday actions can help them preserve their vision well through their golden years,” said Rebecca J. Taylor, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We encourage everyone to take these steps in order to keep their eyes healthy.”

 

To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s public information website at www.aao.org/eye-health.

 


About the American Academy of Ophthalmology: The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit www.aao.org.

[i] https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/adultvision_usa

[ii] Genetic and Dietary Factors Influencing the Progression of Nuclear Cataract, Yonova-Doing, et al, Ophthalmology, article in press March 2016.

[iii] Eye-related Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2010, Vaziri, et al. Ophthalmology, April 2016.

 

Insight on BCTV: Finances and the Visually Impaired Community

Mark Levengood discusses finances and the visually impaired with guests Tom Kalejta and Matt Kitchie from Kalejta Financial Management. Check it out on April 2019’s BCTV’s Insight…

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National Sports Eye Safety Month

Eye Health in Sports and Recreation

Story Credit: David Turbert, American Academy of Ophthalmology

Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear.

The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection.

High-Risk Sports

For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.

Boxing and full-contact martial arts pose an extremely high risk of serious and even blinding eye injuries. There is no satisfactory eye protection for boxing, although thumbless gloves may reduce the number of boxing eye injuries.

In baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate (an especially strong, shatterproof, lightweight plastic) face mask or wire shield should be worn at all times. It is important that hockey face masks be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for sports such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey. Choose eye protectors that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards or that pass the CSA racquet sports standard. See the EyeSmart Protective Eyewear page for additional details.

If you already have reduced vision in one eye, consider the risks of injuring the stronger eye before participating in contact or racquet sports, which pose a higher risk of eye injury. Check with your ophthalmologist to see if appropriate eye protection is available and whether or not participating in contact or racquet sports is advised.

Other Risky Leisure Activities

While sports account for a particularly high number of eye injuries, they are by no means the only hobby that poses a risk to your sight. According to physicians surveyed for the 2008 Eye Injury Snapshot conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, more than 40 percent of patients treated for eye injuries sustained at home were involved in home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. Use common sense and err on the side of caution, whatever the activity.

  • Consider the risk of flying debris or other objects during activities and wear appropriate eye protection.
  • Remember that eyeglasses aren’t sufficient protection.
  • Be careful during activities or games involving projectiles and other sharp objects that could create injury if in contact with the eye. For example, the U.S. Eye Injury Registry indicates that fishing is the number one cause of sports-related eye injuries.
  • If you wear contacts or eyeglasses, pack a back-up form of vision correction during bike trips or other activities where you could lose or shatter a lens.

If an eye injury occurs, see an ophthalmologist or go to the emergency room immediately, even if the eye injury appears minor. Delaying medical attention can result in permanent vision loss or blindness.

Learn What to Do For an Eye Injury

If you or your child get an eye injury, follow these important care and treatment guidelines for eye injuries.

On-the-Field Visual Test Helps Diagnose Concussions in Athletes

About 3.8 million Americans sustain sports-related concussions each year, so a quick, reliable screening test would be useful on the sidelines, to keep injured athletes from returning to play too soon, and off the field to help physicians more effectively diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients with concussions. An on-the-field visual test can help.

Prevention is the key and sport-specific eye protection can save your vision. Eye protection during any activity with potential for injury can also save vision. Eye protection is more than eyeglasses but specifically safety or sports glasses.

For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.

If you already have reduced vision in one eye, consider the risks of injuring the stronger eye before participating in contact or racquet sports, which pose a higher risk of eye injury. Check with your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) to see if appropriate eye protection is available and whether or not participating in contact or racquet sports is advised.


About the American Academy of Ophthalmology: The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, and advancing the profession of ophthalmology. The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, AAO protects sight and empowers lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for patients and the public. AAO innovates to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. For more information, please visit their website HERE.

 

 

Insight on BCTV: Interning at Vision Resource of Berks County

Mark Levengood interviews VRC intern, Keri Quigley, about her internship experiences. Check it out on March 2019’s BCTV’s Insight…

View on BCTV.org