JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur each year. More than 40,000 of these require Emergency Room attention and more than one-third of the victims are children. In fact, sports represent the number one cause of eye injuries in children under the age of 16.
Common injuries include abrasions of the cornea, bruises of the lids and internal eye injuries such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding, according to optometrist and researcher Dr. Derek Cunningham, a guest on the new edition of Healthy Vision ™ with Dr. Val Jones. Joining Dr. Cunningham to talk about the importance of eye protection and protective eyewear for athletes of all ages is Todd Daniels, Head Athletic Trainer and Conditioning Coach for the Spokane Chiefs Hockey team in the Western Hockey League.
"It is estimated that the use of appropriate sports eye protection can reduce the risk of significant eye injury by at least 90 percent," says Dr. Cunningham, a council member for the American Optometric Association Sports Vision Section. "If you're in any type of situation where there is a risk for eye injury, you should be wearing eye protection that has been tested for impact resistance to make sure the different materials do not shatter," he advises. "Glasses and sunglasses designed for daily use are not designed to protect your eyes during sports."
"In sports, an injury like an ankle sprain is something you can deal with and get through the pain, but your eyesight affects so much of what you do that you just can't afford to risk not having proper protection," adds Daniels, who has also served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the U.S. Ski team and as an athletic trainer for the United States Soccer Federation for both the Men's and Women's World Cup teams.