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              New Prevent Blindness Data Shows More than 30,000 Sports-Related Eye Injuries Happen in One Year Alone


                      - Prevent Blindness Northeast Region Declares September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, 

                                             Provides Tips on Best Ways to Protect Vision While Playing Sports-


Boston, MA (Aug. 23rd, 2018) New annual data from Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health non-profit organization, shows that there were more than 33,000 Americans treated for sports-related eye injuries last year.  More eye injuries occur from water and pool activities than any other sport with basketball as the second highest cause. Prevent Blindness Northeast Region has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month to help educate the public on the need to protect vision while playing sports activities.

A recent study, “Epidemiology of Sports-Related Eye Injuries in the United States,” found that patients with primary sports-related ocular trauma were most commonly male.  And, the proportion of injuries resulting in impaired vision was highest for those injuries associated with paintball (10.2 percent), shooting an air gun (8.2 percent), racket sports (5.8 percent), and soccer (5.7 percent).

The newly published study, “Trends in US Emergency Department Visits for Pediatric Acute Ocular Injury” found that although there was a decline in the rate of overall ocular injuries in the study period (2006-2014), there were increases during the study in injuries related to sports (12.8 percent) and household/domestic activities (20.7 percent).

Eye injuries from any sport may include infection, corneal abrasions, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retinas or a traumatic cataract.  Eye injuries from water sports may include eye infections and irritations, and scratches or trauma from other swimmers. 

As part of September’s Sports Eye Safety Awareness month, Prevent Blindness Northeast Region provides tips on buying sports eye protectors:

  • Always consult an eye care professional to get the best eye protection for your sport and lifestyle
  • If you wear prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor to fit you for prescription eye protection. If you're a monocular athlete (a person with only one eye that sees well), ask your eye doctor what sports you can safely participate in.
  • Do not buy eye protection 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 your eyes can be very dangerous and cause serious injury.
  • Fogging of the lenses can be a problem when you're active. Some eye protection options are available with anti-fog coating. Others have side vents for additional ventilation. Try on different types to determine which is most comfortable for you.
  • Check the packaging to see if 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 eye protection is the most impact resistant.
  • Sports eye protection should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eye guards 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. Consult your eye care professional to ensure it has a comfortable, safe fit.

“Wearing eye protection should be part of any athlete’s routine, just as putting on equipment like shin guards, gloves, or a helmet are,” said Paulette Tattersall, Director of Northeast Region. “Eye accidents happen so quickly, but the effects can be painful and last a lifetime.  Consulting an eye care professional can protect healthy eyesight without compromising on performance.”

Liberty Sport, Prevent Blindness, and Prevent Blindness Northeast Region are partnering for the annual “September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month” program.  The program provides printed materials to assist eye care professionals in educating consumers on the importance of eye safety during sports. To request a free kit, please contact Angela Gerber, Liberty Sport, at (973) 882-0986 x972 or [email protected].

For more information on sports eye injury prevention or contact lens safety, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020, or visit


About Prevent Blindness Northeast Region and Children’s Vision Massachusetts

Prevent Blindness Northeast Region is part of Prevent Blindness, the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, serving the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screenings, community and patient service programs and research.  These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America.  For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at or

Children’s Vision Massachusetts, supported by Prevent Blindness, is a seventy member coalition of families, professionals from multiple disciplines and affiliations, whose mission is to facilitate the development of a state-wide plan to improve the visual health of children in Massachusetts. To achieve this, the coalition is working to raise awareness and create systems to assure that every child has a vision screening, eye exam, and ongoing treatment if diagnosed with a vision condition.

To join our efforts use #kidsvision #eyehealth #eyesoncapitolhill and spread the word about Children’s Vision Massachusetts. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn