SEPTEMBER: SPORTS EYE SAFETY MONTH
According to the AOA (American Optometric Association), sports-related eye injuries are the number one cause of eye injuries in those aged sixteen years and younger. It is estimated that 90 percent of these injuries are preventable with the proper eyewear. Estimates by Prevent Blindness America place the number of sports-related eye injuries at 40,000 per year, with about one-third of those visits being children.
Regardless of whether an athlete has a vision problem or not, measures need to be taken to protect the eyes while participating in sports. The sports most frequently responsible for eye injuries are baseball, basketball, and racquet sports. One of the most dangerous sports to the eye is racquetball. The bony orbit around the eye typically limits a ball that hits the eye from compressing the orbit very far. However, the small diameter of a racquetball allows it to fit into the eye socket without being blocked by the bones around it, and excessive compression of the eye occurs. An eye injury from a racquetball may result in permanently losing the eye. Fingers, elbows, and collisions are sources of serious eye injuries during other sports.
While normal eyeglasses may provide some protection, most frames and lenses are not sturdy enough to withstand the severity of impacts that occur in sports. Safety goggles are ideal, as they are designed to minimize any visual disturbances while using them. They are made with materials that can withstand impacts and have lenses grooved so that they can only pop outward, away from the eyes. Many quality sports goggles also have side vents or anti-fog lenses so that they don’t cause problems when sweating. For sports already requiring a helmet, face shields should be used with the helmet to protect the eyes.
Protective eyewear can prevent up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Yet, only 32% of adults wear eye protection during sports and only 50% of parents make sure their children are wearing eye protection
CAN CONTACT LENSES HELP?
There is no exact age that a child becomes “contact lens eligible.” We routinely fit children of all ages in contact lenses. A child’s candidacy for contact lenses is largely a function of their own desire (not their parents’ desire), their level of responsibility, and their ability to tolerate things in close proximity to their eyes, such as a finger inserting a contact lens. Bear in mind that the intangible advantage of increased confidence provided by contact lenses factors into sports performance as well. Today, with the availability of single use, daily disposable contact lenses, children find it even easier to use contact lenses
WHERE CAN I GET SAFETY SPORTS EYEWEAR?
You can get sports eyewear and contact lenses right here at Austin Village Eyecare! Let our trained and experienced staff help you.