By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
Sports are a great way for young people to stay in shape, learn about teamwork, and spend time with their friends. But keeping safe is just as important as having fun, especially when it comes to protecting something as important as the eyes.
September is Sports Eye Safety Month, and eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States, the National Eye Institute (NEI) says. Most injuries in school-aged children are sports-related, and account for an estimated 100,000 doctor visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million.
The NEI says 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries could be avoided if players wore protective eyewear, such as safety glasses and goggles. While many youth sports leagues don’t require players to wear safety goggles, parents and coaches should encourage their young players to do so.
Basketball has the most eye injuries, but baseball injuries are the most serious, CEENTA Optical Shop Manager Jay Russell said. He recommends safety goggles to anyone playing any sport with any risk of eye harm.
Protective eyewear is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate and is 10 times more impact-resistant than other plastics, the NEI says. Ordinary glasses and contact lenses are not protective. In fact, they could be damaged while playing and actually hurt the eye. So, safety goggles should be worn over them.
Not only does safety wear not hinder a player’s vision, but it can also be made to match a person’s glasses prescription. On top of that, studies have shown goggles can actually aid a player’s performance because the player can focus on the game and not have to worry about hurting their eyes, a study from The Vision Council states.
CEENTA has safety goggles for kids available in its 12 optical shops, Mr. Russell said. They are available for every sport from lacrosse to football to baseball to basketball.
CEENTA has optical shops in its SouthPark, Belmont, Blakeney, Concord, Huntersville, Matthews, Monroe, Pineville, Salisbury, Statesville, Steele Creek, and University offices.