During Sports Eye Safety Month in April, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), through its EyeSmart program, is reminding athletes to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear, properly fitted by an eye-care professional, to prevent a sports-related eye injury.
“As an ophthalmologist, I strongly encourage all athletes to use the appropriate protective eyewear for their sports, because eye injuries can be devastating,” said Aaron Weingeist, MD, a clinical correspondent for the AAO. “In fact, some athletes suffer permanent vision loss and blindness from sports-related injuries.”
The AAO recommends lenses made from polycarbonate materials because they can withstand the impact of a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour. The organization also recommends purchasing only eye protection that has been tested to meet the American Society of Testing and Materials standards.
“Unfortunately, most youth sporting leagues don’t require children to wear eye protection,” said Dr. Weingeist. “That’s why we’re trying to raise awareness and arming parents and athletes with the information they need to take care of their eyes during sports.”