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Arizona Eye Care: Sports-Related Blindness and Eye Injuries

 When most people think “Arizona eye care,” they think about sunglasses. They think about LASIK.

They think about annual eye exams and glaucoma prevention and picking the perfect prescription lenses. And though each of those steps on the road to healthy vision is an important one, there’s one that many people, unfortunately, overlook: sports-related blindness and eye injuries.

From racquetball matches to pick up soccer games at the park, playing the sports you love without the proper protection can mean putting your eyesight at risk. According to the Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries, more than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports happen each year, and 42,000 of those injuries are severe enough to require immediate Emergency Room attention.

Whether your son is the number one baseball star on his little league team or your daughter sinks every basketball layup she makes, children are just as at risk for sports-related blindness and eye injuries as adults are – and perhaps even more so. In fact, according to the Nation Eye Institute, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the US. But with so many P.E. classes, weekend tournaments, and after-dinner games in the driveway, just how do you make sure that your child’s eyes are protected?

Proper eyewear can successfully prevent sports-related blindness and eye injuries when worn consistently. In lacrosse, ice hockey, softball, and baseball, for example, invest in a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. Polycarbonate is a lightweight but durable, shatterproof plastic that protects the eyes and face. Every member of the team should wear a polycarbonate mask – not just the catcher! In basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, an entire face mask or wire shield may not be necessary.

However, protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses is essential and should be worn at all times. Choose eye protectors that have been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards or that pass the CSA racquet sports standard.

For additional information, talk to an optometrist or ophthalmologists at Nationwide Vision today.