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Feb 21, 2012

Protect Those Eyes

Sports participation may be one of America’s favorite past times but it doesn’t go without consequence. Protecting your eyes by wearing protective gear will help avoid injury and is critical to keep players safe on the field. Unfortunately many neglect appropriate eye wear to protect an important asset their vision!

Each year about 100,000 eye injuries occur from sports and recreation activities, with more than 42,000 that require a visit to the Emergency Room.

The sports with the highest rate of eye injury occurs with Baseball/Softball, Ice Hockey, Racquet Sports and Basketball. One third of these injuries involve children. Eye injury is also the leading cause of blindness in children in America. 

The good news is about ninety percent of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. These lenses are especially strong, shatterproof, and made of a lightweight material that is ten times more impact resistant than plastic.

Protective eyewear includes safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards designed for use in a particular sport. Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses do not protect against eye injuries. Safety goggles should be worn over them. Choose eye protectors that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

Hockey players are advised to wear a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield at all times. It is important that hockey face masks be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

If you already have reduced vision in one eye, consider the risks of injuring the stronger eye before participating in contact or racquet sports, which pose a higher risk of eye injury. Check with your eye doctor to see if appropriate eye protection is available and whether or not participating in contact or racquet sports is advised.

Be one of the many patients along with the Charlotte Checkers who choose Horizon Eye Care for all their eye care needs on and off the ice.

Reference: The National Eye Institute

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