Each year, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt by sports-related eye injuries. About 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. In support of Sports Eye Safety Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds athletes everywhere that the great majority of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided by simply wearing the proper protection.
•Baseball and basketball account for the largest number of injuries among young athletes.
•Little League pitchers can achieve pitching speeds up to 70 mph. That’s fast enough to seriously damage an eye.
•In basketball, serious eye injuries caused by flying fingers and elbows can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective eyewear.
•Many other popular sports, such as tennis, soccer, football, golf, water sports, and hockey, put unprotected players at risk for serious eye injury.
The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection.
Studies have shown that more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented, simply by wearing the right protective eyewear.