Eye Safety Tips for July 4th Celebrations

Guest post by Ronald C. Gentile, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology and the Chief of Ocular Trauma Service at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE).

In the U.S., more than 9,000 fireworks injuries happen each year, with roughly 1 in 8 fireworks injuries harming the eyes. In fact, the latest annual fireworks injury report issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that 1,300 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2014, up from 600 just three years ago. With July 4th celebrations approaching, Ronald C. Gentile, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology and the Chief of Ocular Trauma Service at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), wants to remind people of some eye health and fireworks safety tips.

“Common fireworks and sparkler eye injuries include burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and ruptured eyeball,” says Dr. Gentile. “And children are frequent victims of these injuries. As many as 30 percent of eye traumas caused by fireworks impact kids.”

To help protect your vision, Dr. Gentile recommends the following tips:

  • Fireworks are not toys: Even though fireworks can be exhilarating and fun to watch, they should be treated as potentially dangerous due to their combustible and flammable properties. Children should be educated about their dangers and never play with fireworks.
  • Leave fireworks to the experts: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional fireworks event. Even though many states allow fireworks, use of consumer fireworks without a permit in New York State is illegal.
  • Always wear protective eyewear: Most fireworks eye injuries could be prevented by wearing eye. However, few take that simple precaution. A 2015 Fireworks Survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that only 10 percent of U.S. adults wear eye protection when using fireworks. Yet 3 times that number wear eye protection to do other activities such as house cleaning or home repair.
  • If allowed with proper permits, set-up a safety barrier around where the fireworks will be lit and make sure only adults handle fireworks.
  • Seek medical attention immediately in case of a fireworks eye injury: Do not rub the eye or try to flush it out since this could cause further damage to the eye.

“The injured eye is very unforgiving, so speed, specialty care and new medical technologies are of the essence in treating ocular trauma,” said Dr. Gentile.

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai offers specialized services for these types of injuries through its Eye Trauma Service open 24 hours, seven days a week. The Center is also home to the Eye Injury Registry of the State of New York and is a member of the United States Eye Injury Registry. Data from the registries are used to conduct analytical epidemiological research and for development of eye safety strategies and clinical trials.

In Sickness and In Health: Why LGBT Health Equality Matters

by guest blogger Jose Sepulveda, Co-Chair, NYEEI LGBT Employee Resource Group

When Apple CEO Tim Cook came out, he said “We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.” Coming out was not going to change his life. It was not going to change my life much either, but somewhere, there was a young teen who was able to see a little more hope. These small bricks, small steps forward, help the unseen.

It is humbling to write on behalf of an institution like Mount Sinai Health System. Mount Sinai is deeply committed to LGBT Issues and LGBT Health. June is LGBT Pride Month, and this year’s has now become one of the most significant Pride months in United States history. The Supreme Court has ruled that LGBT people have the same fundamental right to marry as everyone else in the country. This decision is deeply emotional for many LGBT people, including myself, and has tremendous psychological impact on the lives of many across the country. It is not lost on me that I am lucky. New York recognizes gay and lesbian marriage. But for many across the country,  this was not the case until this week.

As we marched in the New York City Pride March on Sunday, June 28, one of the biggest gatherings in the country, our hope was that current and future LGBT needing healthcare will see Mount Sinai Health System as safe: a place where they will not be judged for something they cannot change; a place where they, too can find a little hope. LGBT Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but from our right to exist without persecution. I marched on Sunday for me and for those who cannot march. Thank you Mount Sinai Health System and our Office for Diversity and Inclusion for giving us visibility, for enabling us as employees and health care providers to be fully ourselves and for leading us in creating a future that promises all of us equitable access to quality healthcare. This is my brick.

Swallowing Pills Made Easy

Guest post by Leanne Goldberg, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist, The Eugen Grabscheid MD Voice Center, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

If you experience difficulty swallowing pills as an adult and are almost embarrassed to admit it – don’t be. A recent nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that a staggering 40 percent of American adults have experienced difficulty swallowing pills, but do not experience issues ingesting food or liquids. Read more

Feeding the Picky Eater

Guest post by Kelly Krikhely, MS, RD, CDN, Clinical Dietitian at The Mount Sinai Hospital, and Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, CDN, Senior Dietitian at The Mount Sinai Hospital

Much to the dismay of parents everywhere, kids are notoriously picky eaters. Especially common amongst toddlers and preschoolers, the “picky eaters club” is more formally termed food neophobia. While most outgrow this phase by grade school (or here’s hoping, high school!), we’ve got some fail-proof strategies to help little ones become more adventurous eaters. Read more

Three Healthy Salads for Summer

Guest post by Alexandra Rothwell, RD, CSO, CDNDubin Breast CenterThe Tisch Cancer Institute.

When done right, salads are the perfect summer meal–cool and refreshing, made with all the best seasonal produce, substantial enough for a meal, but light enough to keep you energetic. However, even the most enthusiastic salad lovers can experience these two common pitfalls. One is a salad slump–not changing recipes or experimenting with new flavors enough to keep the meal exciting and sustainable. The other is filling the salad with so many calories that it’s no longer a healthy meal. These recipes provide a few ideas to stay healthy, while putting some new life into this delicious meal! Read more

Healthy Bring-to-Work Meal Ideas for Summer

Guest post by Alexandra Rothwell, RD, CSO, CDNDubin Breast CenterThe Tisch Cancer Institute.

Beach trips, weekend getaways, parties, and happy hours…with summer finally here, we can anticipate lots of fun celebrations with friends and family. If you’re health conscious and worry that all this fun may lead to one tortilla chip too many, don’t fear! The workweek can be a great time to catch up with some healthy meals, so that you can fully enjoy the more festive times. Here are some great bring-to-work meal ideas to try: Read more

Five “Healthy” Habits That May be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

Guest post by Alexandra Rothwell, MPH, RD, CSO, CDNDubin Breast CenterThe Tisch Cancer Institute.

Are you one of the many people with a few extra pounds that won’t budge, even though you’re doing everything right? If so, read on to find out if you’ve been tricked by one of these 5 common weight loss saboteurs…

Drinking Diet Soda

When craving a sweet drink, health conscious people look for something that won’t break the calorie bank and often reach for a diet soda. Unfortunately, these “diet” drinks may do more harm to the waistline than many people realize. Read more

Five Easy Carb Swaps for a Fit Summer

Guest post by Alexandra Rothwell, MPH, RD, CSO, CDNDubin Breast Center, The Tisch Cancer Institute.

Here’s the truth: most of us eat too many carbohydrates (starch, sugar, etc.–it is all the same), and for most of us, cutting back on the breads, pastas, and sweets can help us reach our health goals.

I’m not advocating for an Atkins diet, or even a very low carbohydrate diet. I’m advocating for an appropriate carbohydrate diet. When I counsel women for weight management, I listen to what they currently eat and help them find easy and delicious ways to substitute some of the starch in their meals with healthier foods. Here are some of the best substitutions: Read more

Make the Most of Seasonal Foods

Guest post by Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, CDN, Senior Dietitian, The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Aside from colorful flowers, longer days and the ability to comfortably venture outside with only a single layer of clothing, my favorite thing (appropriately so) is new seasonal produce. Just when I’ve run out of things to do with winter root vegetables and am tiring of hot soups and stews, spring shows up with an abundance of colorful fruits and veggies to bring new life and variety into my diet (and hopefully yours!). Read more

Probiotics and Weight Management

Guest post by Valentine Reed-Johnson, RD, CDN, Clinical Dietitian, The Mount Sinai Hospital, and Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, CDN, Senior Dietitian, The Mount Sinai Hospital.

There have been recent rumblings (no pun intended!) in the nutrition community about a potential connection between obesity, disease and gut health. Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, are found in certain foods and supplements and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. Because of this, probiotics may also be key players in the prevention of chronic disease and obesity. Before heading to the store for the latest in supplementation or a brew-at-home kombucha set, here’s a review of the latest research and our thoughts on where to go from here. Read more