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Prevent Blindness Declares September as Sports Eye Safety Month

Prevent Blindness Declares September as Sports Eye Safety Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Dori Jennings
(614) 270-0746
[email protected]

Annual Data from Prevent Blindness Shows Pool and Water Sports as Cause of Most Sports-related Eye Injuries

Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate Declares September as Sports Eye Safety Month to Provide Information on Protecting Eyes from Sports Injuries

Columbus, OH (September 1, 2021) The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Month to help keep eyes and vision protected while playing sports. According to annual data from Prevent Blindness, more eye injuries occur from pool and water sports than any other category.  These injuries may include eye infections and irritations, and scratches or trauma. However, ball sports still account for the highest total injury rate. Injuries may include corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, detached retina, a fracture of the eye socket and many more sight-threatening occurrences.

The National Eye Institute states that eye injuries are a leading cause of blindness in children in the United States — and most of these injuries happen while kids are playing sports. Wearing the right protective eyewear can prevent 9 out of 10 sports-related eye injuries. Additionally, every 13 minutes an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury.

A recent 5-year study found that approximately 20 percent of youth ocular injury visits were sports-related. Although sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball caused the most eye injuries, shooting sports with paintball and airsoft guns were associated with the greatest loss of vision. Unfortunately, patients infrequently reported the use of protective eyewear at the time of injury.

The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness strongly recommends that athletes of any age wear protective eyewear when participating in sports. Prescription glasses, sunglasses and even occupational safety glasses do not provide adequate protection.

Additionally, Prevent Blindness advises the use of protective eye wear that fits securely and comfortably, and allows the use of a helmet, if necessary. Polycarbonate eye guards are the most impact resistant. Polycarbonate lenses are also thinner and lighter than plastic, shatterproof, and provide UV protection.

For sports use, polycarbonate lenses must be used with protectors that meet or exceed the requirements of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International, a global standards development organization. Each sport has a specific ASTM standard, so check the package and/or protector to make sure the appropriate ASTM standard designation for the sport is on the product, before buying it.  Do not buy the product if there is no ASTM code provided.

“Any injury can happen in a split second, but the effects of a serious eye injury can have lasting negative effects for a lifetime,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness.  “We encourage anyone, adult or child, to always make sure that eye protection is consistently part of their uniform, and to consult an eye care professional before starting any sport to make sure their vision is healthy and protected.”

Prevent Blindness and Liberty Sport are partnering during September’s Sports Eye Safety Month to promote education and awareness on the ways to protect vision.  To download free educational and promotional materials, including the Sports Eye Safety Guide, visit: https://www.libertysport.com/resources.

For more information on sports eye injury prevention, please call Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate at (800) 301-2020 or visit pbohio.org, or www.preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety.

About Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness serves all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to 1,000,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020. Visit us on the web at pbohio.org, Facebook at facebook.com/pbohio/, or Twitter at twitter.com/PB_Ohio.

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