Children’s participation in sports and other physical activities helps promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Unfortunately, accidents do occur, and sports are some of the leading causes of eye injuries in children.
Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, and according to the National Eye Institute, an E.R in the United States treats a child for a sports-related eye injury every 13 minutes. Baseball and basketball are the leading causes of sports-related eye injuries followed by ice hockey and racquet sports. There are three different common types of sports-related eye injuries: blunt injuries, corneal abrasions, and penetrating injuries.
- Blunt injuries: occur when the eye is suddenly hit by impact from an object. Often caused by tennis balls, racquets, or even fists and elbows.
- Corneal abrasions: painful scrapes on the outside of the eye, or the cornea. Usually caused by being poked in the eye by a finger.
- Penetrating injuries: caused by a foreign object piercing the eye. Often occur when the lens or frame of eyeglasses worn during sports sustain an impact and penetrate the eye. Penetrative injuries tend to be the most serious and must be treated quickly to prevent vision loss.
If your child suffers an eye injury, they need to be treated immediately by a licensed eye doctor to reduce the risk of further damage or even vision loss. However, the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true, and ensuring your child wears protective eyewear while playing sports can prevent most eye injuries.
Protective eyewear can prevent about 90% of sports-related eye injuries, and are especially effective at reducing the incidence of eye injuries sustained during contact sports. Ordinary prescription glasses have no place in sports, and especially in contact sports, since impact to them often results in penetrating injuries. When seeking protective eyewear for your child, look for eyewear that is sport-specific and comfortably snug on your child’s face. If your child wears prescription lenses, your eyecare professional can ensure that your child will see just as clearly out of their protective eyewear as they do when wearing their regular glasses or contact lenses.
Making sure your kids wear protective sport-specific eyewear will keep them in the game rather than injured on the bench, and at OCLI, we’ve helped hundreds of families protect and care for their eyes. From routine vision screening, to prescription lenses and preventative eyewear, to LASIK vision correction, to cataract surgery, to treatment for dry eye and digital eye strain, we deliver state-of-the-art treatment with the friendliest service in town. For all your eyecare needs, give us a call today!