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Eye Injury Prevention – 8 Helpful Tips

SPORTS EYE INJURY

April is “Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month” and we have put together 8 helpful tips to keep your eyes safe and prevent eye injuries while enjoying your favorite sports!

Everyone knows that taking care of your eyes and preventing eye injuries is important. And many times we are more concerned with eye safety at work than we are with the safety of our eyes when we’re engaged in recreational activities or playing sports.

Interestingly, there are certain sports where eye injuries occur more often, such as; basketball, baseball and sports where a racket is used (tennis, racquetball, etc.). And any full-contact sport where eye protection is nonexistent like boxing, martial arts and especially MMA fighting or wrestling, poses a high risk of serious eye injury that may lead to the injured person becoming blind.

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Eye Injury Prevention

The best ways to protect and prevent eye injuries while enjoying your favorite sports:

  1. Wear a face mask with a shatterproof shield during sports such as hockey, baseball and football.
  2. Wear goggles or other protective eyewear with poly-carbonate lenses for sports that include the use of a racket, basketball, fieldeye protection signs y4400119 40428 l11002 lg hockey and soccer. Protective eyewear not only protects your eyes from flying objects, etc. but can also reduce sun glare when tinted.
  3. Choose eye protectors that have been tested and adhere to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and/or that pass the CSA racket sports standard.
  4. Invest in a sport-specific eyewear
  5. Choose protective eyewear that fits well (not too tight or too loose) and that is padded along the brow and bridge of the nose – this will help prevent it from cutting into the skin. children contacts 640x350.jpg
  6. If you wear contact lenses, wear soft contacts when possible, and make sure you have a backup pair
  7. If you sustain an eye injury, make sure you see an ophthalmologist immediately to determine the severity of the injury.
  8. Depending on how active you are, you may want to consider LASIK surgery so that you don’t need to wear glasses or contact lenses while playing sports. However, this does not relinquish the need for protective eyewear. And you will definitely need to take extra care when playing sports immediately following LASIK surgery.

Thousands of people experience an eye injury while playing sports each year. And, it is estimated that at least 42,000 people visit the emergency room each year because of eye injuries. You can avoid your chances of being another eye injury statistic by adhering to these eight tips listed above.

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

September Is Sports Eye Safety Month!

Ocular sports trauma is among the leading causes of permanent vision loss in North America. Tens of thousands of people get treated for sports-related eye injuries a year, with the most common injuries occurring during water sports and basketball. Infections, corneal abrasions, eye socket fractures, and detached retinas are just a few of the typical cases eye doctors encounter on a regular basis.

Sports Eye Safety Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) to remind people to protect their eyes when playing sports. Though young children are usually the most vulnerable to eye injuries, it should be noted that professional athletes can also suffer eye injuries while on the job. 

Eye accidents can happen in a split second – the effects can last a lifetime…

By wearing protective eyewear, you can safeguard your eyesight without compromising on your favorite sports activities. Athletes who wear contact lenses still need additional eye protection for relevant sports.

At Family Eye Professionals, our eye doctor is experienced and trained to treat sports-induced eye injuries sustained by our active patients. Dr. Deanna Khalil and our dedicated staff are committed to providing the most comprehensive eye care to help get you back on the field again. Furthermore, we provide consultations on a wide array of protective eyewear for all your sporting needs. 

What Eye Injuries Can Be Caused by Sports?

Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion, also known as a scratched cornea, is the most common sports-related eye injury. When someone gets poked in the eye, the eye’s surface can get scratched. Symptoms may include acute pain and a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes, as well as redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headaches, blurry or decreased vision. Medical care includes prevention or treatment of infection, and pain management. If you suspect that you have suffered a corneal abrasion, make sure to see an eye doctor right away. 

Traumatic Iritis

Iritis is an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye. The condition rapidly develops and typically affects only one eye. Symptoms include pain in the eye or brow region, blurred vision, a small or oddly-shaped pupil, and sensitivity to bright lights. 

Hyphema

Hyphema is among the more common sports-related eye injuries, with racquet sports, baseball and softball accounting for more than 50% of all hyphema injuries in athletics. 

A hyphema is a broken blood vessel inside the eye which causes blood to collect in the space between the cornea and iris, also known as the “anterior chamber”. Although the main symptom is blood in the eye, it can be accompanied by blurry or distorted vision, light sensitivity or eye pain.  

If you recognize the signs and symptoms of hyphema, make sure to seek immediate medical attention in order to avoid secondary complications. 

Angle recession

Angle recession can develop from an eye injury or bruising of the eye, caused by getting punched, elbowed, or hit with a ball. The trauma damages the fluid drainage system of the eye, which causes it to back up, increasing the pressure in the eye. In 20% of people with angle recession, this pressure can become so severe that it damages the optic nerve, and causes glaucoma (known as “angle-recession glaucoma”). 

You may not notice any symptoms at first, and it may take years before you experience any signs of vision loss. Therefore, it’s critical to visit the eye doctor as soon as possible for a complete eye exam and make sure that you follow-up with routine screenings. 

Retinal tear or detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition in which the retina gets lifted or pulled away from its normal position at the back of the eye. If not treated immediately, retinal detachment can develop permanent vision loss.

Symptoms include seeing flashing lights, floaters or little black spots in your vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency and requires an eye doctor’s immediate attention – surgical intervention may be necessary.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage 

This happens when a blood vessel breaks on the white part of the eye. In addition to a sport-related injury, it can be induced by rubbing the eye, heavy lifting, sneezing or coughing. For those with subconjunctival hemorrhage, the eye appears intensely red – though this minor condition will often clear up within a couple weeks on its own without treatment.

Orbital Fracture 

This occurs when one or more of the bones around the eyeball break, often caused by a hard blow to the face – such as by a baseball or a fist. This is a major injury and should be assessed by an eye doctor, like Dr. Deanna Khalil, along with X-Rays or CT scan imaging to help confirm the diagnosis.

Black Eye or Periorbital Hematoma

A “shiner” can occur when a blunt object such as a fist or ball strikes the eye-area of the face and causes bruising. Typically, this kind of injury affects the face more than the eye. Blurry vision may be a temporary symptom, but it’s a good idea to get a black eye checked out by an optometrist in any case, because sometimes there is accompanying damage to the eye which could impact vision.

How Does One Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries?

One of the most important things one can do in order to prevent eye injuries is to wear protective eyewear. In fact, wearing eye protection should be part of any athlete’s routine, and should be prioritized just like wearing shin guards or a helmet. 

Below are a few tips to prevent sports-related eye injuries: 

  • Wear safety goggles (with polycarbonate lenses) for racquet sports or basketball. For the best possible protection, the eye guard or sports protective eyewear should be labeled “ASTM F803 approved” – which means it is performance tested.
  • Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball.
  • If you wear prescription eyewear, speak with Dr. Deanna Khalil about fitting you for prescription protective eyewear.
  • Sports eye protection should be comfortably padded along the brow and bridge of the nose, to prevent the eye guards from cutting into the skin.
  • Try on protective eyewear to assess whether it’s the right fit and size for you and adjust the straps as needed. For athletic children who are still growing, make sure that last-year’s pair still fits before the new sports season begins. Consult Dr. Deanna Khalil to determine whether the comfort and safety levels are adequate. 
  • Keep in mind that regular glasses don’t provide nearly enough eye protection when playing sports. 

For athletes, whether amateur or pro, there is so much more at stake than just losing the game. Fortunately, by wearing high-quality protective eyewear, you can prevent 90% of all sports-related eye injuries. 

Speak with Dr. Deanna Khalil at Family Eye Professionals about getting the right sports-related protective eyewear to ensure healthy eyes and clear vision. Our eye care clinic serves patients from Chicago Ridge and the surrounding areas. 

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