Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Through The Eyes Of A Child

August 13th, 2018

Waiting until after Labor Day to begin the new school year is a thing of the past. It is here in Florida anyway. Students attending public schools in the Sunshine State return to school a full three weeks before the Labor Day holiday this year.

With the summer break now at an end, the time for back-to-school shopping is already at hand. So, too, is the time to make sure your child is as well-equipped as possible to begin the new school year right.

Being properly equipped for school doesn’t just mean having the right notebooks, paper and pencils, however. It also means being in the proper physical state to succeed, which is why August has been designated Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

For anyone with school-aged children, it is always a good idea to devote a small part of the summer to getting your children’s eyes examined so that any issues can be corrected long before the first homework assignment is handed out.

Through a brief eye examination, an ophthalmologist can not only detect common issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism but less common diseases such as amblyopia (lazy eye), ptosis (drooping eyelids) and color blindness.

It’s also possible for parents, friends and family members to detect potential vision issues. Wandering or crossed eyes are easily detected while complaints of sore eyes or headaches from reading, watching TV or playing video games can be a sign of trouble, too.

There’s more to good eye care, though, than just getting an eye exam. Parents should also do everything they can to make sure their son or daughter is taking steps each day to avoid physical damage to their eyes.

For example, it’s just as important for your school-aged son or daughter to wear sun glasses on a bright, sunny day as it is for you. And wearing protective eyewear during sporting and recreational activities should always be recommended, if not insisted upon.

Many children may choose to ignore such recommendations, but before they do, they should know that children suffer the majority of the approximately 42,000 sports-related eye injuries that occur every year in the United States alone.

With the school year already beginning, it’s wise to take steps now to ensure they are fully dressed for success.

The Eyes Have It

April 17th, 2018

By the time he had reached the end of this 20-year playing career, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabaar had become known as much for the safety goggles he wore during games as the skyhook he used to become a 19-time NBA All-Star and six-time NBA most valuable player.

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar

It was the result of repeated eye injuries, the last one being a second scratched cornea that he suffered midway through the 1974 season he spent with the Milwaukee Bucks, that prompted Abdul-Jabaar to don the goggles, explaining “I’m down to my last pair of eyeballs.’’

Nearly 50 years later, the chances of an athlete suffering an eye injury such as those that prompted Abdul-Jabaar to don his goggles are still great as more than 25,000 professional and recreational sports participants seek care for sports-related eye injuries each year, according to Prevent Blindness®.

Just as great are the chances of preventing most of those injuries. With the use of proper eye-ware, 90-percent of all eye injuries, including many that occur during sports or recreational activities, can be prevented, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The AAO has thus designated April as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, and the organization’s timing could not be better. With spring-like temperatures already upon us and summer drawing near, more and more people will begin engaging in water and pool activities, which is where most eye injuries occur.

According to statistics provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 6,000 eye injuries occurred during water and pool activities in the calendar year of 2016. During the same calendar year, more than 5,700 eye injuries were suffered by athletes participating in basketball.

Virtually all sports and recreational activities, including golf, fishing and cycling, carry some risk of eye injuries. As we noted, though, most of those injuries can be prevented by following some simple, common-sense rules and knowing wearing equipment designed to protect wearers from eye injuries.

For anyone playing basketball or racquet sports, for example, a pair of proper safety goggles – those labeled as ASTMF803 approved – can go a long way toward preventing serious eye injuries. So can the use of helmets with face shields for those participating in baseball, football and hockey.

One thing to keep in mind is that regular prescription eye glasses do not provide enough protection to prevent serious eye injuries. In some cases, they can even increase the chances of an eye injury being more serious than it needed to be. That’s why, for many athletes, it’s makes good sense to get a good pair of prescription eye guards.

Eye guards are becoming more prevalent, not just in professional sports, but throughout the youth sports culture as well, and for good reason. A good pair of eye guards costs between $20 and $40 dollars, which could be a fraction of what the cost associated with repairing even a minor eye injury could be.

A pair of prescription eye guards will be more costly, of course, but that cost may not be any greater than the cost of replacing a pair of contact lenses. And as Abdul-Jabaar pointed out all those years ago, the cost, no matter how great, will always be cheaper than that associated with replacing the only set of eye balls you’ll ever have.

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