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April 13, 2015

Sports Eye Safety Month: Eye injuries and protective eyewear

Ninety percent of serious eye injuries are preventable

Tens of thousands of sports-related eye injuries occur each year, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which has designated April as Sports Eye Safety Month. 

More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities. Emergency rooms treat a sports eye injury every 13 minutes.

Baseball is the most common cause of sports-related eye injuries in children ages 5 to 14, while basketball is the leading cause of eye injuries in people ages 15 to 64. Martial arts and boxing pose a high risk of serious and potentially blinding eye injuries. 

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(SCREENSHOT/AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY)

Fortunately, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says wearing the proper protective eyewear can prevent 90 percent of those injuries.

Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.

Eyeglasses alone are not sufficient protection. The type of eye protection you need depends on the activity you are involved in. Sports eye protection should meet the specific requirements of the sport being played. 

Keep in mind, while sports account for a high number of eye injuries, other everyday hobbies can pose a risk to your sight.

Check out some of the worst and most famous eye injuries in American sports history.

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