September is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month. School is back in session and the fall sports season is already well underway, but did you know that sports-related eye injuries are a leading cause of blindness for children?
Sports-Related Eye Injuries
"We see a wide variety of eye sports-related eye injuries," says Dr. Carrie Koenig, an optomerist at McFarland Eye Center. "Probably most common are abrasions where someone gets a finger in the eye, but a person can also suffer blunt force trauma from the force of a ball hitting them in the eye." Dr. Koenig says injuries can range from bruises of the iris to cataracts to retinal detachments or bleeding.
Most youth sports leagues do not require the use of eye protection even though the National Eye Institute (NEI) says ninety percent of serious eye injuries can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear. The NEI recommends eye protection for all children who play sports--not just those who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
"I usually recommend that people who play sports use Trivex lenses because they are lightweight and impact resistant," says Dr. Koenig.
McFarland Eye Centers offer Wiley X frames not only to protect the wearer's vision, but also to provide comfort, style, and visual acuity for athletes to perform their best. Call or stop in to your nearest McFarland Eye Center today to learn more.
What to Do When You Suffer an Eye Injury
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says that when an eye injury does occur, it is important to recognize and treat it properly right away. The AAO recommends having an ophthalmologist or other medical doctor examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first. You can be seen by a McFarland Clinic ophthalmologist or your primary care provider. If the injury is serious it may be necessary to go to the emergency room or Urgent Care. Click here to learn how to recognize if an eye injury is serious.
The following links contain additional information about protecting your child's eyes when playing sports:
American Academy of Ophthalmology -- Eye Health in Sports and Recreation
American Academy of Ophthalmology -- Recognizing and Treating Eye Injuries
National Eye Institute -- About Sports Eye Inury and Protective Eyewear