SEEING SPORTS THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES
As the snow melts it becomes time to grab the baseball bat and glove, the tennis racket, lacrosse sticks or the volleyball uniform, brush the dust off of those sneakers and get involved in sports. But one important piece of sports equipment that is often forgotten is eye protection. While a sprained ankle or pulled muscle can bother an athlete for a few weeks or even months, an eye injury can be a life changing event that may last forever.
Each year approximately 13,500 sports eye injuries result in the patient becoming legally blind in the injured eye. While there are many causes for loss of sight, eye injuries are the leading cause of loss of vision in one eye. These injuries can be a result of impact from a ball, bat, racket, elbow, or other equipment. They can also come from fingers or other foreign objects entering the eye. Fortunately, you can reduce eye injury probability greatly by using protective eye gear!
HOW YOU CAN HELP TO PREVENT INJURIES
While wearing eye protection is important, it is equally import to be aware of what is protecting you and your children and what can actually be putting them at an increased risk. Wearing glasses, sunglasses, or other non-ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved glasses can put you at a higher risk for injury. Eye wear that is not specifically designed to help protect your eye can shatter or break. These shards can enter the eye or the area around the eye and make wearing non-approved eye protection more dangerous than wearing nothing at all. Wearing approved goggles or face masks can help to prevent up to 90% of eye related injuries.
Many teens argue that they will not look “cool” if they use eye protection; however, the optical industry has made great strides in fashion in recent years helping to make eye protection more appealing to the younger generations. It is also important to make sure that you are fitted specifically by an eye care professional to make sure that protective eyewear fit properly and are designed for the sport to be played.
Remember this year as you and your children get ready for another fun filled spring season that you can look fashionable while protecting your eyes, and SEE another great season through!
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.