Aug. 20, 2012
-- According to a recent study, more than 38,000 sports-related eye injuries occur each year of a severity that requires a trip to the emergency room. In one year alone children between the ages of 5 to 14 endured a significant amount of injuries due to sports including basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, football, and racquet sports. Eye injuries are the leading cause of acquired blindness and visual impairment. Over 25% of those injuries occur during sports.
When a child participates in a sport-activity, the impact of a ball or other equipment as well as an opponent’s fingers, hands, and elbows become a threat to a child’s visual safety. If a person plays a sport that requires a helmet or faceguard, do not make the mistake of thinking their eyes are protected from injuries. Their eyes are still exposed to danger from sports equipment or an opponent’s finger penetrating the openings of a facemask. Likewise, if a child wears glasses, everyday street eyewear is not held to the same protective standards as are eyewear products labeled as protective eyewear for sports use. The lens in non-protective sport frames could easily pop out and puncture or cut the eye, as well as a frame mangled from impact.
The good news is that you can help prevent a young person from being sidelined because of a serious eye injury. You can make the decision to help protect their eyes by adding protective sport goggles to their equipment bag. Remember, while protective sports eyewear can provide significant protection; they cannot guarantee to be unbreakable or guard against all foreseeable impacts. However, quality eye protection equipped with the appropriate polycarbonate lenses to meet sport safety standards can be sight savers since they help keep the eyes and surrounding ocular region protected.
Contact your Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician for a sports vision screening to ensure that you and your children are equipped with the best defense against sports-related eye injuries.