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Eye Protection is Essential for Oklahoma Athletes
Date:4/9/2009

Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sport-specific eyewear to prevent devastating injuries

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For Stephen Sacks, what started out as a routine basketball game his senior year of high school turned into a medical emergency. Stephen was a young basketball star who played years of hoops without any injuries. But when he was accidentally elbowed in the eye by a teammate, Stephen ended up with a large laceration on his left eyelid and a close encounter with permanent eye damage.

"After the knock to my eye, all I could see was a black haze," Stephen recalls. "I was rushed to the emergency room in the middle of the game, where I was told that I might have permanent damage to my left eye." Fortunately Stephen regained his vision three weeks later, but had to miss his last senior game because of the eye injury. He went on to play college basketball and has vowed to always wear protective eyewear while playing.

April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, and Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology (OAO) reminds the public that 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. The Academy advocates the need for athletes to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

"Eye injuries from sports can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing protective eyewear" said Oklahoma City ophthalmologist Amalia Miranda, president of the OAO. "Most people don't realize that basketball is one of the leading causes of eye injuries because of elbows and fingers hitting the eye."

In addition to abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids, sports injuries can include retinal detachments an
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SOURCE Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology
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