<p>Has anyone heard about <em>red tide</em>? Apparently, it's some kind of algae that kills sea life and wreaks havoc on the human respiratory system. It's really bad here (east coast, Florida) right now, but the waves are good, and S continues to go out in spite of it. He's not alone, the knucklehead.
Is it "safe" to use milk to wash eyes out with? If so, how do you do this? Is whole milk OK? Are we all insane- is this some kind of serious health threat, or just a temporary inconvenience? It's been pretty annoying lately.</p>
<p>Any biologists out there? Can anyone advise? Are we all crazy to be going out in the ocean? </p>
<p>What's the best remedy for the eye irritation?</p>
<p>Yes, you are crazy to go swimming in red tide. I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, and the beaches would be closed due to red tide now and then. Lifeguards didn't put up with rule breakers, though. </p>
<p>Some of the algae that cause red tides create a variety of toxins as a side affect of their metabolism. This means that they can kill or hurt people who swim in them. I wouldn't do it.</p>
<p>Wow, there aren't any lifeguards around here, much less rule breakers (no rules). Mostly, it's in the papers because of the annoying respiratory symptoms, but there haven't been any moratoriums on beach swimming/surfing.</p>
<p>Although, as I type I'm coughing and my eyes are irritated, and I haven't as much as put a toe in the water recently. The waves are just starting to get pretty good and people/surfers are using milk to wash out their eyes afterwards. Is there anything inherently dangerous about using milk as an eye wash? Whole milk? Seems bizarre to me.</p>
<p>Yes, I'm a mom. Just can't help worrying.</p>
<p>Washing eyes with milk sounds like a very bad idea to me -- I'd expect it to significantly increase the risk of eye infections.</p>
<p>I would not swim in the ocean with red tide. I would just avoid it. I don't know anything about washing the eyes out with milk.</p>
<p>Our government researched horseradish and clams for chemical warfare.</p>
<p>Sitting up late in CA waiting for our youngest to return home from an event and this thread caught my eye. </p>
<p>We have red tide or harmful algae blooms in CA, and it’s generally recommended that you don’t go swimming during them. Texas has a similar policy as noted on Woods Hole Oceanographics Institute’s Harmful Algae Page: Neurotoxic</a> Shellfish Poisoning : Red Tide</p>
Although other states such as Texas have done otherwise, in Florida where the Red Tides are almost a yearly occurrence, beaches are not closed to recreational or occupational activities, even during very active near-shore blooms.
<p>Florida deems it safe to swim during them for most humans. Here is a good FAQ pdf. by the Florida Dept of Health:
Most people can swim in red tide, but it can cause skin irritation and burning eyes.
<p>The more complete site is at Florida’s Dept of Health: Aquatic</a> Toxins</p>
<p>You can also check out Florida’s current red tide status and further discussion of “Harmful Algae Blooms” at Florida’s Marine Research Institute: Fish</a> and Wildlife Research Institute. </p>
<p>As to rinsing eyes with milk, it appears that poison control often recommends rinsing out your eyes with water and then drinking milk for a number of poisoning events. I came across several beauty recommendations for soaking cotton balls in skim milk and placing them over red swollen eyes to reduce puffiness and irritation. There was even a recommendation to use breast milk to rinse the eyes of a baby with conjunctivitis. It seems to be a home remedy. Interesting all the same.</p>
<p>Okay younger S has long been home, and I need to go to sleep. Always something new on CC.</p>
<p>doubleplay - what region are you in? We're heading down tomorrow to northeast
FL - do you know if it's there? Checked the website and those areas were not tested. My son and nephew (who will be joining us) both have asthma so I'm concerned. I thought this was a west coast thing!</p>
Sorry for not keeping up online today- hope your trip goes well! We're in central Florida beach region.
Red tide is here, but according to online alerts, it's 'moderate' in areas. Although it sure as heck feels OBNOXIOUS as heck to those with sensitive respiratory systems. Sometimes, S comes home and says it was nonevident. Other times, it seems he was in a 'patch' of it, and leaves the beach disgusted and demoralized.</p>
<p>Funny thing is, older son is the one with 'asthma history'- as an infant/toddler, though. He's been going out in the ocean daily and no problems, other than minor aggravation. Younger son never had respiratory problems, and is having a heck of a time with it now (inland). He won't go near the beach.</p>
<p>It floats on top of the tide, and when the waves crash onshore, it becomes an aerosol. That's the hardest part of surfing- because you have to get beyond the breakers. The crap gets in the lungs, eyes, mouth. Yuck. It also gets inland, apparently, and is bad for people who are succeptible to the hazards.</p>
There was even a recommendation to use breast milk to rinse the eyes of a baby with conjunctivitis.
This one actually works. At least it did on my kid. But breastmilk is not the same thing as cow's milk at all.</p>
<p>Yeah, I live on the east coast of Florida as well and the red tide was really bad a couple weeks ago. Our school is open and basically right on the ocean and EVERYONE was constantly coughing it was horrible. I think its starting to die down though thank god.</p>