Mardi Gras and Eye Safety - WestSide Eye ClinicHow does Mardi Gras and eye safety go hand in hand? While you’re parade watching and reveling in all of the fun, it’s wise to protect your eyes from the throws that sometimes are thrown with terrific force. It’s not intentional but the beads need to be thrown somewhat forcefully in order to reach the crowds as the floats are passing by quickly. If you wear eyeglasses, then you at least have a little protection from rogue beads hitting your eyes.

Eye injuries are the most common injuries to occur at Mardi Gras parades. Corneal abrasions and swollen eyelids are the most common eye injuries to occur. A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the eye. Bacteria or fungus can enter the eye through the scratch, especially if the object that caused the injury was contaminated. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible because, left unattended, infection could cause serious damage within 24 hours. Leave the injured eye uncovered due to the fact that bacterial and fungal infections grow in moist, dark places. Refrain from rubbing your eye because that action could encourage infection to fester as well. Should an infection develop, it is imperative to follow the eye doctor’s instructions. Blindness could possibly result. Swollen eyelids, or a black eye, can result from the force of the throws striking the eye with terrific velocity. The best remedy in this situation is to apply an ice pack immediately. However, medical attention should be sought to ensure that internal damage has not occurred. The types of internal eye injuries that are possible include a hyphema or an orbital blowout fracture. A hyphema is bleeding in the space between the cornea and the iris. Orbital blowout fractures are cracks in the facial bones around the eye. These internal injuries require immediate medical attention.

If you have suffered an eye injury at a Mardi Gras parade, to make an appointment at West Side Eye Clinic, you can reach us at (504) 347-8434. For more information, you can submit a request at We are located at 4601 Wichers Drive in Marrero and are at your service Monday through Wednesday from 9am – 5pm; Thursday and Friday from 9am – 4pm; and by appointment only on Saturday. Your complete eye health is our top priority!

Happy Mardi Gras!