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April is Sports Eye Safety Month and did you know that 90% of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear?  The sports with the most eye injuries include baseball, basketball and racquet sports and the most serious eye injuries are seen in boxing and full-contact martial arts.  Wearing protective eye wear and helmets can prevent many of these injuries.

Protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for sports such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey.  Sports such as baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield should be worn at all times.  Polycarbonate is a strong, shatterproof, lightweight material that is 10x’s more impact resistant and provide 100% protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Choosing protective eyewear should meet the specific requirements of the sport being played.  These requirements are usually established and certified by the sport’s governing body and/or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Injuries to eyes include blunt, penetrating, and radiation injuries. Blunt traumas account for the majority of injuries and the extent of eye damage depends on the size, hardness, and velocity of the blunt object, and the force imparted directly to the eye. Penetrating injuries are uncommon but are seen if players are wearing glass eyewear or get poked in the eye.  Fishing hooks are another cause of penetrating injuries.  Radiation injuries are a result of exposure to ultraviolet light and are seen mainly in snow & water skiing and other water sports.

Getting medical care immediately for an eye injury is of the utmost importance to help save the vision and prevent any further damage.

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