Valley Healthcare

While nicer weather signals the beginning of many sports related activities, springtime also signals an increase in the dangers of eye injuries related to sports.  Every season, far too many children and adults sustain sports related eye injuries that could be prevented with the right safety measures. Protecting your eyes while participating in sports is important especially in contact sports or those that expose you to the sun such as basketball, softball, cricket, tennis, fencing, soccer, or fishing.

All sports have a range of needs and risks, so it’s important to let your eye care professional identify your specific needs and suggest the right eyeglasses or contact lenses that best fit your vision. [2]

Those with low skill levels, often found in the younger athletes, are at a greater risk. About 44% of the reported injuries were to children under the age of 14. Thus, young children should be protected, as any eye injury could permanently end ones future in sports. Also, those with pre-existing eye conditions are at a bigger risk. For instance, if one is playing with low vision in one eye and good vision in another, precautions should be taken to protect the good eye, as injury to the good eye could result in vision loss, reducing the overall vision of the athlete. [5]

Decrease your risk of a sports related eye accident by wearing the correct protective eyewear suited to the type of physical activity you’re participating in. The right eyewear will keep you injury-free and will often also have additional protection to block ultra-violet light for when you’re outdoors. Sports eyewear is made to protect your eyes from frequently occurring conditions. Everyday glasses usually won’t provide full protection, which means that even just a minor collision can mean a serious risk to eyesight. [3]

Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses. [1]

90% of all sports related eye injuries could have been prevented.  If a sports-related injury does occur, the athlete should be referred to a medical facility or to an eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist) immediately if they experience:

  • blurred vision that does not clear within a few minutes,
  • loss of all or part of their field of vision,
  • eye pain that does not subside in a few minutes,
  • double vision,
  • flashing lights or
  • bleeding on or inside the eye.

Wearing protective goggles is an efficient method of protecting your contact lenses. Fitting perfectly on your eyes it bans bacteria and microbes getting on your lens’ surface and also prevents your contact’s dislodging from your eyes. Choosing disposable and soft lenses instead of hard, traditional lenses can be a good option for you. Not only because you can throw them after swimming, but having a larger circumference, they fit firmly to your eyes, not letting bacteria and toxins get into your eyes harming them. [5]

Immediate and proper action in an emergency can be the difference between blindness and saving someone’s sight.  Of course the best medicine is prevention and with some planning and proper equipment, most injuries can be avoided. [4]

[1] http://www.geteyesmart.org/

[2] http://www.american-eyecare.com/

[3] http://www.drreid2020.com/

[4] http://www.lindamojer.com/

[5] http://www.sporteyes.com/


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

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