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Sports Eye Injuries

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Liberty Sport, a leading manufacturer of sports eyewear for children, has investigated sports eye injuries among children.  What they and the National Eye Institute report is that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related.1 These injuries account for an estimated 100,000 physician visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million.  There are more than 25,000 physician visits per year for sports eye injuries.

The majority of these injuries occur in baseball/softball, basketball and in water.  Currently, most leagues do not require protective eyewear.  Sports goggles or a face shield could be worn to protect the eyes from injury.  Polycarbonate is 10 times stronger than regular plastic.   Goggles are designed to protect the eye and the orbit from injury as opposed to standard plastic sunglasses.  

Parents and coaches need to advocate for eye safety in sports by encouraging proper eye safety gear!

Harrison, A., & Telander, D.G. (2002). Eye Injuries in the youth athlete: a case-based approach. Sports Medicine, 31(1), 33-40.

For more information, visit:  https://www.preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety   

Written by Cheryl Everitt

Cheryl M. Everitt, OD, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California in 1994. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Everitt takes a special interest in treating patients with a variety of difficult eye conditions, such as chronic headaches and migraines. Dr. Everitt has been a conference speaker on topics ranging from contact lenses to practice management to trigeminal dysphoria. She has also participated in a mobile eye clinic in Riverside, and medical missions to Mexico. Dr. Everitt is one of the original founders of 20/20 Vision Associates Optometry and has practiced for 25 years. She was an associate research scientist for 4 years prior to becoming an optometrist. She is also an active member of her church.
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