April marks National Sports Eye Safety Month. Each year, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt by sports-related eye injuries and about 13,500 of those injuries result in permanent vision loss, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The good news is the AAO also states that 90% of serious eye injuries are preventable through the use of appropriate protective eyewear. But of course, this also depends on the exact sports activity you are participating in.
Basketball is the leading cause of injuries in males, followed by baseball/softball, and air or paintball guns. For females, baseball/softball is the primary reason for eye injuries, followed by cycling and soccer. The type and severity of sports-related injuries vary. Corneal abrasions and bruises on the lids are less significant, while retinal detachment and internal bleeding can be vision-threatening. Any sort of blunt force trauma also puts someone at higher risk for developing glaucoma in the future. Annual eye exams are a simple way to monitor this closely. And as with any injury, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better.
You should always follow these three tips to avoid sports-related eye injuries:
- Wear proper safety goggles. It is important that any sports protective eyewear are labeled at ASTM F803 approved. This eyewear is performance tested to give you the highest levels of protection.
- Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball/softball and use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.
- Throw out old gear. When your eye protection is damaged or yellowing with age, it’s time to throw them out. Wear and tear may cause them to become weak and less effective.
Eye Center, Inc. offers prescription and nonprescription sports goggles for adults and children with polycarbonate lenses. Also available are safety glasses with an ASTM approved frame and protective side shields for adults and children with polycarbonate lenses. Visit Eye Center, Inc. today or call us at (941) 756-2020 to learn more about protective eyewear for sports.