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Sports Eye Injuries: When Should You See a Doctor?

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Green Bay PackersSeptember is Sports Eye Safety Month, and according to Friends for Sight, there are over 40,000 sports-related eye injuries every year, and it’s estimated 90 percent can be prevented.

Even professional athletes are not excluded from eye injuries. Prominent athletes like Aaron Rodgers recently said he suffered vision loss during a game and Aroldis Chapman and Marc Staal have experienced eye injuries like orbital fractures. So, how do you prevent sports related eye injuries and when should you see a doctor if you’re injured? Read our tips below to learn more.

How can you prevent eye injuries?

Preventing sports related eye injuries typically involves wearing protective eyewear. From basketball to soccer, using protective eyewear can greatly reduce the risk of eye injuries.  For high-risk sports like baseball, basketball and racquet sports it’s important to protect your eyes. Check out these additional tips below to learn how to further reduce your risk.

  • Boxing: While there’s no proper protection, using thumbless gloves can reduce the risk of eye injury.
  • Baseball, Ice Hockey and Men’s Lacrosse: Wearing a helmet with a polycarbonate (strong, shatterproof plastic) face mask should be worn while playing.
  • Basketball, Racquet Sports, Soccer and Field Hockey: Protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be used at all times.

When should you see a doctor for an eye injury?

Eye injuries in sports are very common and it’s difficult to tell when you should seek medical care. Generally, if the injury was severe enough to cause any bruising or a ‘black eye,’ we recommend a medical evaluation.  Additionally, any visual complaints such as blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision would require medical care.  Early diagnosis of orbital wall fractures are crucial as any delay can cause permanent defects in motility of the eye.

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The doctors at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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