Is your vision a priority when you’re playing sports? Eye Injuries Can Happen When You Least Expect Them
The crisp smell of freshly cut grass on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands…There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.
Unfortunately, that magic can be shattered in an instant. No one understands this better than Aroldis Chapman, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher. In March of 2014, then pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, the four-time All-Star was hit in the eye by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. After extensive treatment, including surgery, Chapman was lucky to retain full visual capacity and return to the game later that season.
While you or your child may not experience this type or level of injury, sports related eye injuries happen frequently and unexpectedly, and can have severe repercussions as serious as permanent vision loss.
Watch out for these signs or symptoms of sports related eye injuries:
- Pain when looking up and/or down, or difficulty seeing
- Sunken eye
- Double vision
- Severe eyelid and facial swelling
- Difficulty tracking
- The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
- Blood in the clear part of the eye
- Numbness of the upper cheek and gum
- Severe redness around the white part of the eye
Know The Risks
Did you know that there are approximately 100,000 sports related eye injuries each year? 30,000 of those are sustained by children. While that may seem frightening, we’d like to emphasize that 90 percent of sports related eye injuries can be prevented through the proper use of protective eyewear.
It’s important to know what the risks are for the specific sport you are involved in, as certain sports are riskier than others. For example, baseball, hockey, basketball, water polo and racquet sports result in more eye injuries than other sports. In addition, different types of sports may pose unique risks. Cyclists, skiers and snowboarders (to name a few) are more in danger of radiation injuries caused by exposure to the sun.
Wearing protective eyewear may not be able to completely protect your eyes in all cases, but it can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of sports related eye injuries. Talk to us about the sports you and your child are involved in. We can recommend the most effective type of eyewear and gear for the specific sports you participate in.
Your Vision Is Precious
Sports related eye injuries can change a person’s life in an instant. As the saying goes, prevention is the best treatment! The next time you don your uniform, don’t forget to put on your protective eyewear with it. Your vision is precious, remember to protect it.