Preventing Sports-Related Eye Injuries
Most eye injuries among kids aged 11 to 14 occur while playing sports. Although, they can happen at any age. Fortunately, the majority of these injuries can be prevented with proper precaution and understanding of eye care. Here is what you need to know about sports-related eye injuries and how to avoid them.
Most Common Types of Eye Injuries
Some common sports-related eye injuries include blunt injuries, corneal abrasions, and penetrating injuries. Blunt injuries happen when an object collides and compresses the eye. These injuries can occur as the result of elbows, fists, tennis racquets, tennis balls, or any other blunt object hitting the eye.
Corneal abrasions are scrapes that occur on the cornea, just outside of the eye. These injuries can heal by themselves without seeing a doctor. In many instances, a corneal abrasion occurs when a finger pokes the eye. It can also happen when a sharp object scratches the cornea.
Lastly, penetrating injuries occur when a foreign object pierces the eye. These injuries can be more serious; however, they are the least common.
Eye Injury Statistics
In the United States, 40,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year. Although, most of these are preventable. In fact, around 90% of these injuries are preventable, and Canada has reduced eye injuries by 90%. The country passed mandatory regulations for amateur hockey players to wear full-face protectors during games. This small change shows how a few precautionary steps can drastically reduce eye injuries.
Baseball is the leading cause of eye injuries for children under the age of 14. On the other hand, basketball is the leading cause of eye injuries among 15-24-year-olds. In basketball, these eye injuries are typically a result of elbows or fingers coming into contact with the eye. While in baseball, most eye injuries are due to ocular contact with the ball. Overall, the implementation of safety eyewear into both sports would be a beneficial method for reducing accidents.
Tips for Preventing Eye Injuries
If you are looking for more information on how to stop sports-related eye injuries, consider these tips:
- Make sure to wear safety eyewear consistently during sports events.
- Set an example by wearing safety eyewear.
- Make sure ordinary glasses and contacts are not used as protective eyewear.
- Wear a helmet and make sure it fits correctly.
Eyewear should be sport-specific and sit comfortably on or near the face. For example, for baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, and hockey players, sports goggles or facemasks can help prevent injury. Remember to schedule regular eye appointments. Also, ask us about our protective sports eyewear.