TOLEDO, Ohio (April 4, 2018) -- The month of April is National Sports Eye Safety Month, and a great time to be thinking about our vision as we head into the heart of the racing season.
More than 40 percent of eye injuries that occur every year are related to sports or recreational activities. A recent study found that about 30,000 people in the U.S. went to an emergency department with a sports-related eye injury, a substantially higher estimate than previously reported. Three sports accounted for almost half of all injuries: basketball, baseball and air/paintball guns.
Basketball was the leading cause of injury in males, followed by baseball/softball, and air/paintball guns. Baseball or softball was the leading cause among females, followed by cycling and soccer.In support of Sports Eye Safety Month in April, Motorsports Safety Group and the American Academy of Ophthalmologyare offering athletes of all ages guidance on how to protect their eyes.
Sports-related injuries can range from corneal abrasions and bruises on the lids to more serious, vision-threatening internal injuries, such as a retinal detachment and internal bleeding.
In motorsports, eye injuries most often occur when a foreign substance gets into the eye, either fluid or solid. But, blunt force also causes its share of injury.
“Racing is a dangerous sport, and there are many dangers to contemplate,” said Dr. Jason Cormier, founder of Motorsports Safety Group. “But we really need to take care of our eyes. Don’t take your vision for granted.”
The good news is that simply wearing protective eyewear can prevent about 90 percent of eye injuries. Follow these tips to save your vision:
- Wear the right eye protection: The right equipment for the right job is rule #1.
- Know the standards: Choose eye protection that meets OSHA, SFI and American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. See the Academy’s protective eyewear article for more details.
- Throw out old gear: Eye protection should be replaced when damaged or yellowed with age. Wear and tear may cause them to become weak and lose effectiveness.
- Glasses won’t cut it: Regular prescription glasses may shatter when hit by flying objects. If you wear glasses, try sports goggles on top to protect your eyes and your frames.
“Virtually all sports eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper eye protection,” said ophthalmologist Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the Academy. “That’s why I always strongly encourage athletes to protect their eyes when participating in competitive sports.”
Anyone who experiences a sports eye injury should immediately visit an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care.
For more information on sports eye safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart® website at www.eyesmart.org.
Motorsports Safety Group is the collaboration of forward thinking minds geared towards continuing efforts that serve to foster improvements in the safety of racing. The goals of Motorsports Safety Group embody the interests of the group and its partners, ensuring the safety and health of racing teams and their loyal following.
Dr. Cormier crafted this strategic partnership with the ARCA Safety Initiative Program to form a “Motorsports Healthcare Education Plan,” a high profile, interactive activation designed to reach millions of race fans throughout the country. Motorsports Safety Group, with now an international presence, look forward to a long-term relationship with the ARCA racing family.
For more information, please visit www.motorsportssafetygroup.com