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September is Sports Safety Month

September 1, 2011

September is Sports Safety month.  Many of us don’t realize just how dangerous sports can be to our eyes, and thus we get injured.  It is estimated that there are over 40,000 sports related eye injuries each year, and about 90% most of these easily preventable.  Many doctors offer alternatives to wearing glasses while playing sports, and everyone should take advantage of this.

Basketball and Baseball lead the way in eye injuries.  The most common eye injury is actually getting poked in the eye, not at all ball related.  A poke in the eye can cause other problems such as a scratch on the cornea.  A minor injury like that may be irritating, but it is easily preventable by wearing eye protection.   Golf has the most call related injuries, as the balls are small, hard, and very fast.  They can cause the most devastating damage of all ball related injuries.

There are three types of major sports related eye injuries: corneal abrasion, blunt injuries, and penetrating injuries.  Corneal abrasion was spoken about above; it is when the cornea gets scratched.  The most common cause is being poked in the eye.   Blunt injuries are usually caused from the impact of an object.  These injuries range from a cut on the eyelid to a black eye.    Penetrating injuries are when a foreign object pierces the eye.   For children a common cause of this type of injury is from the BB gun pellets.  Although your kids may see think its dorky, ask them to put on eye protection as it will save everyone a lot of trouble!

The main way to protect your eyes is by wearing eye protection.  If you wear glasses you may get eye protection goggles that can go over your glasses.  Your eyes are very precious and they are easy to hurt, be sure to practice safe sports by wearing eye protection.

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