From major league stadiums to small-town courts, America’s favorite pastimes make great memories for many. But for more than 40,000 athletes, those memories are ruined by eye injuries, the vast majority of which were preventable.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Norman Regional eye doctors urge all athletes to wear appropriate protective eyewear.
“I believe that seeing your goals and really envisioning victory requires avoiding potentially devastating eye injury with sports eye protection,” said Ophthalmologist Joel Razook. “Wearing eye gear can prevent short or long-term loss of eyesight.”
Little League pitchers can throw the ball up to 70 mph which is fast enough to break bones and do serious damage to the eye. Children can end up with injuries ranging 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 athletes end up with permanent vision loss and blindness.
Basketball, football, hockey and baseball aren't the only sports that contribute to the thousands of eye injuries suffered each year. Soccer, tennis, golf and water sports also are dangerous to the eyes.
The long-term benefits of playing sports are clear, but sports are the leading cause of eye injuries in children. Most sporting leagues don't require their young athletes to wear eye protection, yet when they do, the occurrence of eye injuries is greatly reduced. So, until mandatory eye protection comes to your child's sporting league, it is up to you to lobby for and protect your young athlete.
“Athletes in their uniforms look ready for action. They can complete the look with protective eyewear to prevent injury of blindness and even improve their performance,” said Dr. Razook.
It’s a fact! If you play sports, you can get hurt. Whatever your game, whatever your age, protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear.
Joel Razook, MD practices Ophthalmology in Norman. His office is located at 1215 Crossroads Boulevard, Suite 200. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 405.579.3193.