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New data says more eye injuries occur from water, pool activities

Published: September 9, 2016 10:00 AM

According to recent data from Prevent Blindness, more eye injuries occur from water and pool activities than any other sport.

Eye injuries may include everything from eye infections and irritations to burns from chlorine and other chemicals to scratches or trauma from other swimmers.

Wearing contact lenses during water activities also increases the risk for Acanthamoeba keratitis, a severe, painful infection of the cornea, which usually causes scarring and, if undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to blindness. In the most severe cases, a corneal transplant may be necessary.

As part of September's Sports Eye Safety Awareness month, the Ohio Affiliate of shares these recommendations:

/ For those who wear prescription glasses, ask an eye doctor for prescription eyeguards. Monocular athletes (those with only one eye that sees well), should consult an eye doctor about what sports are safe to participate in.

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/ A sports helmet alone may not protect from eye injury. Additional safety eyewear should be used.

/ Eyeguards or sports protective eyewear should be labeled as ASTM F803 approved.

/ Don't buy sports eyeguards without lenses. Only "lensed" protectors are recommended for sports use. Make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against the eyes can be very dangerous.

/ Some frames have built in venting solutions for ultimate performance. Lenses should have an anti-fog solution to prevent fogging of the lenses.

/ Check the packaging to see whether the eye protector you select has been tested for sports use. Also check to see that the eye protector is made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate eyeguards are the most impact resistant.

/ Sports eyeguards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eyeguards from cutting your skin.

/ Try on the eye protector to determine if it's the right size. Adjust the strap and make sure it's not too tight or too loose. If you purchased your eyeguards at an optical store, an optical representative can help you adjust the eye protector for a comfortable fit.


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