The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named April “Sports Eye Safety Month” to raise awareness of sports-related eye injuries. According to the AAO, tens of thousands of people sustain eye injuries due to sports or similar recreational activities.
Los Angeles cosmetic eye surgery provider Eyesthetica is very invested in the health and wellness of your eyes and your children’s eyes. We want to share a few tips to keep everyone’s eyes healthy and safe from sports-related injuries.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Regular glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses do not provide enough protection from injuries.
If you or your child plays baseball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse or any type of racquet sport, it’s important to know that the best thing one can do to protect the eyes is to wear a helmet or face mask. Any projectile — a baseball, puck or wayward arm — could quickly and severely injure an eye.
Protective eyewear should be appropriate for the specific sport and meet the standards set forth by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). As you shop for gear, look for the ASTM label.
Eyewear can be fitted with prescription lenses, if needed.
Protective eyewear should be worn regularly and replaced when damaged. Consult with an eye doctor and ask about recommendations before buying anything.
Confirm Adult Supervision of Your Child’s Activity
When you enroll your child in an organized sport or activity, make sure there will be an adult supervising at all times. It’s best if that adult is knowledgeable about potential eye injuries and understands how to prevent and recognize the signs. If your child is joining a team sport, ask the coach if there are procedures in place to handle eye injuries should they happen.
Familiarize Yourself with the Signs of an Eye Injury
Make yourself familiar with the common signs of an eye injury:
- difficulty seeing
- unusual pupil size
- blood in the clear part of the eye (a.k.a., the area behind the cornea or sclera)
- lacerated eyelid
- an eye that sticks out further than the other
- an eye that moves differently than the other
What If an Injury Occurs?
Some eye injuries are simply unavoidable. What is most important is to seek immediate medical attention, even if the injury seems to be mild. Some serious injuries take some time to show obvious symptoms, and putting off medical attention can cause the injury to progress unnoticed. At its worst, an eye injury could cause irreversible loss of vision or complete blindness.
Do not try to treat an eye injury by yourself. Avoid touching, rubbing or putting any pressure on the eye. If you can’t get in to see your ophthalmologist quickly, go to the emergency room.
For more information about preventing and recognizing sports-related eye injuries, please call Eyesthetica today at (213) 234-1000.