Did you know that 90% of serious eye injuries are preventable through the use of appropriate, protective eyewear? That’s an important fact to remember as baseball and lacrosse season approaches.
Statistics are so important to sports, and here’s a statistic for you: About 40,000 athletes suffer sports-related eye injuries each year in the United States. Approximately one-third of them are children.
Unfortunately - This Can Happen
Ophthalmologists, WESTMED’s “Eye MDs” say eye protection should be a major concern to all athletes—both adults and children.
“Eye injuries range from abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids to internal eye injuries, such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding,” says Dr. John Ettenson, WESTMED ophthalmologist. “Unfortunately, some young athletes end up with permanent vision loss and blindness.”
Fortunately - You Can Prevent Injuries
“The only way to prevent a sports-related eye injury is for athletes to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional,” explains Dr. Ettenson.
Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection. They can withstand the impact of a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.
Effective eye protection is available for many activities, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball and water polo, as well as racquetball, soccer and downhill skiing.
"Wear eye protection anytime you are playing sports, especially those that involve small balls at high velocity," advises Dr. Ettenson.
Most sporting leagues don't require children to wear eye protection, so a good preventive step for parents is to insist that their children wear eye protection when they play.
"Parents also can set a good example by wearing eye protection when playing sports," says Dr. Ettenson.
Act Quickly After an Eye Injury
If a black eye, pain or a vision problem occurs after a blow, contact an Eye MD right away, or seek emergency medical help immediately.
WESTMED Optical Shops carry polycarbonate lenses and full selection of protective sports eyewear for all ages.
For more information, please speak with one of our licensed opticians at the following locations:
Suzy or Ken at 210 Westchester Ave., White Plains (914) 682-6502
Jeff at 1 Theall Road, Rye (914) 848-8991
Eileen at 73 Market St., Yonkers (914) 848-8027