A rogue peewee is making behind a spate of eye injuries that has seen five people treated at Proserpine Hospitals Emergency Department.
Proserpine Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr Shaun Grimes said the pedestrians all had eye (corneal) injuries after being swooped in the main street of Airlie Beach.
Dr Grimes said the bird strikes had left five people with eye injuries in the past three days.
He recommended people wear hats and sunglasses when walking to protect their eyes from bird strikes.
“We saw identical injures in July last year so once again we’re repeating our reminder for people to wear eye protection,” he said.
Dr Grimes said the patients who experienced significant pain would require follow-up care to ensure there are no lasting injuries.
“Most corneal abrasions settle down and people make a full recovery,” Dr Grimes said.
The cornea is the clear front surface of the eye and part of its job is to focus light, enabling you to see.
In addition to disrupting vision, a scratched cornea makes the eye more susceptible to infection.
“We treat the injury with antibiotics to make sure no infection develops,” Dr Grimes said.
“If you sustain an eye injury it’s important you have a medical assessment as soon as possible. The Proserpine Hospital Emergency Department is medically staffed 24hrs per day”
Between April and August last year the hospital treated eight people with eye injuries caused by birds. The majority were corneal abrasions and occurred in July.
Proserpine Hospital has appropriate equipment to diagnose eye injuries, and most cases can be managed locally.
However patients with complex eye injuries are transferred to a larger hospital for specialist care.
“Eye injuries can be very serious so our medical officers will consult with an ophthalmologist if there is any doubt over the best course of treatment,” Dr Grimes said.