Advertisement

Preventing Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Preventing Sports-Related Eye Injuries

On February 18, 2009, the point guard for the Phoenix Suns, Amar′e Stoudemire, was poked in the eye by LA Clippers’ forward Al Thornton. The result? A detached retina. And that followed a torn iris he sustained from a poke in the eye in training camp!

Every year around 30,000 sports-related eye injuries lead to ER visits; untold more send athletes to local clinics, urgent care centers or doctors’ offices. And kids and teens are most vulnerable: 60 percent of guys with sports-related eye injuries and 67 percent of gals are 18 or younger.

According to a study in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, for young males, 23 percent of eye injuries come from basketball, 14 percent from baseball or softball and 11 percent from air guns (paintball was considered a sport). For young females, injuries came from baseball or softball 19 percent of the time, cycling 11 percent, and soccer 10 percent.

So, how to avoid such injuries? Simple: wear protective goggles or wrap-around glasses. Dr. Mike’s been instrumental in advancing this field. As chair of the medical advisory committee of The United States Squash Racquets Association (USSRA), and past captain of the U.S. Squash team in the Pan American games, he showed the USSRA Board the goriest eye injury pics until they mandated protective goggles for all squash matches.

So, if you get push back from your kids, just mention these greats who wore goggles full-time after they were injured: the NBAs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Horace Grant.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

Light the Way for Your Eyes
Light the Way for Your Eyes
Don’t rely on your good eyesight in the dark -- especially if you’re getting older. By the time you hit late middle age, your retina needs more light ...
Read More
What are the rods and cones in the eye?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
The rods and cones in the eye are the body's sensory equipment in the back of the eye. They gather t...
More Answers
10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips
10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips10 Simple Sight-Saving Tips
Take a look at 10 sight-saving tips to protect your vision and boost your eye health.
Start Slideshow
Can Eyes Be Transplanted?
Can Eyes Be Transplanted?