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Backpacker Magazine – November 2009

Protect Your Vision in the Backcountry

Here's how to prevent–and treat–three common backcountry eye problems.

by: Jeremy Joslin MD, Illustrations by Supercorn


Dirt In Your Eye | Scraped Eye | Red and Itchy

Problem A branch whacks you in the face, scraping your eye and causing pain, blurry vision, and even bleeding.

Treatment Rinse a scratched eye with potable water for several minutes. If it's still irritated, loosely bandage shut with tape and a folded piece of gauze. If the irritation gets more painful or doesn't disappear within about six hours, hike out to an eye doctor.

Prevention Again, wear shades. Also, when hiking a wooded route with others, keep a safe distance between you and the person ahead to avoid rebounding branches.



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