DON’T LET YOUR CHILD’S SPORTS SEASON BE SIDELINED BY EYE INJURY
Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children and most eye injuries among kids aged 11-14 occur while playing sports. Among the sports with high rates of eye injuries: basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and cycling. Youth sports leagues don’t always require players to use protective eyewear, but as parents, we can take a stand to protect our children.
Children’s sports eye injuries can range from abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lid to internal eye injuries, such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding. Such injuries often do not get the attention with regard to prevention that statistics suggest they warrant.
All athletes should wear protective eyewear, but not just any eyewear. Use protection specifically designed for the sport. The guide below will help you determine which type of eye protection is necessary for the sport your child plays.
- Baseball: Polycarbonate or wire faceguard attached to the helmet; sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses while on the field
- Basketball: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses
- Field hockey: Full face mask for the goalie; sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses/wire mesh goggles while on the field
- Football: Polycarbonate eye shield attached to the helmet with wire face mask
- Ice hockey: Helmet with full face protection
- Lacrosse: Helmet with full face protection or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses/wire mesh goggles
- Paintball: Full-face-protection goggles — covering the cheeks, ears, and eyes — with eye protection lenses at least 1/10 inch thick
- Racquet sports: Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses
By using the right protective eye gear, the good news is that ninety percent of these eye injuries can be prevented. Without protective gear, a fast-moving baseball can injure the bones around the eye or even the eyeball itself, causing temporary or permanent vision problems; other players’ hands or gloves can scratch the eye, causing damage to the eye’s surface; and a misguided bat can cause head injuries leading to vision problems.
Poor depth-perception or other vision problems could present in the following ways:
- Always swinging the bat too early or too late
- Missing often while trying to catch the ball
- Squinting to see the ball or other players
If an eye injury occurs while playing a spring sport, seek medical attention by an eye doctor or primary care provider as soon as the injury occurs. If not properly treated, vision problems can persist and lead to lifelong difficulty playing sports, driving or even maintaining certain jobs.
Bissell Eye Care is a recognized Performance Vision Center by the Prevent Blindness organization. Our staff will help you select the right type of eye gear for the sport you are playing. Suit Up and …let us help you stay at the top of your game! To learn more about protective eye gear, give our offices a call.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.