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Playing sports this spring? Protect your eyes!

Approximately 600,000 Americans suffer sports-related eye injuries every year¹. But unlike broken bones and muscle strains, many eye injuries can be avoided by wearing protective eyewear. If you’re heading out to play spring sports, a few simple steps can help protect you from becoming a statistic.

One of the biggest misconceptions casual athletes have is that “normal” eyewear is sufficient eye protection. It’s not. Wearing the proper protective eyewear is important to fully protect your eyes during weekend games, say the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) and American Optometric Association (AOA).

According to these groups, conventional frames and lenses don’t meet the minimum requirements for impact resistance in most sports, so even a small collision can easily turn into a sight-threatening injury.

Sports-protective eyewear, on the other hand, is tested to meet rigid safety standards. Every athlete should make sure he or she has certified sports protective eyewear with ultraviolet-absorbing lenses in a current prescription.

It’s also important to have an eye examination if you participate in sports. These exams can detect vision problems which, when treated, can enhance your performance on the field, court or fairway.

Because all sports have different visual demands, an optometric physician with expertise in sports vision can assess your unique visual system and recommend the proper eyeglasses or contact lenses for your activity. Your eye doctor may also suggest a program to maximize your visual performance, as athletes often benefit from enhancing their binocularity and depth perception.

Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury², nearly all of which could be prevented by using the proper protective eyewear. Whether playing for fun or for competition this spring, do all you can to play – and see – well.

¹ Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, Eyes (Ears) and Workers Compensation
²US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Sports and Recreational Eye Injuries. Washington, D.C.: US Consumer Product Safety Commission; 2000

Are your kids playing spring sports? Protect their eyes!

Approximately 600,000 Americans suffer sports-related eye injuries every year¹, and approximately 43 percent occur in children younger than 15 years of age². If your child is signed up for tee-ball, baseball, softball, tennis or soccer this spring, a few simple steps can help protect them from becoming a statistic.

One big misconception is that “normal” eyewear is sufficient for your child to wear while playing sports. It’s not. Wearing the proper protective eyewear is important to fully protect their eyes, say the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) and American Optometric Association (AOA).

According to these groups, conventional frames and lenses don’t meet the minimum requirements for impact resistance in most sports, so even a small collision can easily turn into a sight-threatening injury. Sports-protective eyewear, on the other hand, is tested to meet rigid safety standards, and some have been independently verified and received the AOA Seal of Acceptance.

It’s also important to take your child for an eye exam before letting him or her play. These exams can detect vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, all of which can diminish your child’s performance on the field or court.

Many parents may not realize that the sport of paintball is especially dangerous to their child’s eyes. The size of the paintball and the velocity with which it’s projected make it particularly threatening. Participants and bystanders alike can sustain injuries from this popular sport.

Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury3, nearly all of which could be prevented by using the proper protective eyewear. Whether your child is playing for fun or for competition this spring, do all you can to ensure they play – and see – well.

¹ Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, Eyes (Ears) and Workers Compensation
² U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
3 US Consumer Product Safety Commission