Mr Venki Sundaram
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MD FRCOphth MRCOphth BMBCh BSc Harpenden / Cobham Clinic: 01582 714451 Bushey: 0208 901 5561

Top Tips For Bonfire Night Eye Safety

fireworks being set off at a public bonfire night event

Remember, remember that the 5th November is soon approaching. Otherwise known as bonfire or fireworks night, the 5th November is an annual celebration where people set off fireworks and sparklers to commemorate the failure of Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot on King James I in 1605.

If you’re planning to host or will be attending a bonfire night event, it’s important to be prepared, so you can keep yourself and others safe. Here are a few things you need to be aware of for bonfire night eye safety.

Bonfire night eye injuries

The eyes are one of the most injured areas of the body in firework accidents, with the extent of damage varying considerably. In fact, it is thought that around 300 people suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents caused by fireworks every year. 

Here are some possible dangers that could put some of your eyes’ structures at risk if a firework becomes out of control:

Retinal Detachment – this can occur if you are hit in the eye by something, such as a firework. The retina acts as the inner lining of the eye. When light enters the eye it lands on the retina, converting the light to electrical impulses which are then carried to the brain by the optic nerve. A retinal detachment means that the retina becomes separated from the back of the eyeball. 

If it’s no longer attached, it cannot convert or transmit any signals, which can result in a loss of vision and sometimes even permanent blindness. Experiencing ‘eye fireworks’ (firework-like flashes in your eyes) constantly could be a sign of retinal detachment. 

If these flashes are regular and are impacting you daily (such as causing you to have difficulty driving at night for instance), then it’s worth getting your eyes checked if you continue to experience this.

Traumatic Cataract – this occurs as a result of blunt or penetrating ocular trauma, which causes the lens to become clouded. This happens as a result of the lens fibres in your eye becoming disrupted.

Corneal Abrasions – in simple terms, this is when the surface of your eye is scratched.  It is possible for fireworks to cause scratches on the cornea, but this is very rare.

Top tips for staying safe on bonfire night 

Despite the safety risks associated with bonfire night, you can still enjoy Bonfire Night – you just have to ensure you follow the right safety precautions. 

SPARKLER is a great way to help you and your family remember some of the key safety precautions:

girls playing with sparklers at a distance for eye safety

Shield your eyes by using protective eyewear when lighting fireworks.

Place sparklers into a bucket of cold water once they’ve have burnt out.

Attend organised displays rather than private parties wherever possible.

Read the instructions on the fireworks and make sure they comply with safety standards.

Keep all fireworks in a closed metal box and only light one at a time.

Leave fireworks if they don’t go off – never return to a lit firework.

Ensure everyone stands a safe distance away when the fireworks are going off.

Remove all debris and flammable objects (such as plants) from your firework display area.

Herts Eye Surgeon Services and Surgery 

If you have suffered a retina eye injury as a result of bonfire night or feel as though your condition is only getting worse in general, it might be worth considering retina laser surgery. 

At Herts Eye Surgeon, we ensure Excellence in Eye Care at every step of your journey, providing world-class retina surgery to help treat & restore the vision to thousands of our patients. Mr Venki Sundaram is a leading Consultant Ophthalmologist who provides the highest level of eye care to his patients.

To book your initial consultation at the Cobham Clinic in Luton, Spire Harpenden Hospital or Spire Bushey Hospital, speak to a member of our team today.