Sports Gear Should Also Protect Eyes, Experts
FRIDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- As warmer weather nears and
people gear up to play sports like baseball and soccer, the
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advises athletes that they
can reduce their risk of eye injury by wearing protective
The experts say that more than 40,000 sports-related eye
injuries occur in the United States each year and more than
one-third of those victims are children.
"Athletes need to use protective eyewear because eye injuries can be devastating," Dr. Alberto Martinez, a clinical correspondent for the AAO, said in an academy news release.
"Eye injuries are one of the leading causes of visual impairment in children. The injuries range from abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids to internal eye injuries, such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding. Unfortunately, some of these young athletes end up with permanent vision loss and blindness," he said.
"The solution is simple, wear eye protection anytime you are playing sports, especially those that involve small balls at high velocity," Martinez added.
As part of Sports Eye Safety Month in April, the academy urges
athletes of all ages to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective
eyewear. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials can withstand the
impact of a projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour and offer the
Activity-specific protective eyewear is available for many kinds
of sports, including baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse
Many children's sports leagues don't require participants to
wear protective eyewear, so parents must make their youngsters wear
eye protection, Martinez explained.
"Parents also can set a good example by wearing eye protection when playing sports," he noted.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
sports and eye injuries.
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