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Keep Eyes Safely On The Ball
Date:9/1/2008

American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Texas Ophthalmological Association Remind Parents and the Public of the Importance of Protective

Eyewear for Youth Sports and Back-to-School Leagues

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Noah was seven years old when an errant paintball smashed into his left eye and sent him from the sidelines of his brothers' game to the emergency room.

"I remember being very dizzy and I couldn't stop vomiting," said Noah. "I had to wait in the hospital for my eye pressure to go down and for all the blood to drain out of my eye."

Noah later developed a cataract and a detached retina in his left eye; he subsequently underwent successful surgery to repair the traumatic cataract and retinal detachment. In spite of the fact that his traumatic cataract has been removed and his retina has been repaired, he now wears a contact lens and has some permanent double vision.

"Unfortunately, this is a common story when you mix sports and the lack of proper eye protection," said Abdhish R. Bhavsar, M.D., Noah's doctor and a clinical correspondent for the Academy. "While Noah was a bystander in this instance, 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year."

According to Noah's mom, "Hand and eye coordination is now very difficult for Noah," and though he loves baseball and tennis he has decided to take up swimming instead. Still, she says, "Noah never lets his spirits down."

Maura knows all too well how quickly an eye injury like Noah's can happen. Thirteen years ago at hockey practice in Connecticut, she sustained a serious hit to her eye from a teammate's hockey stick. The accident left her with years of pain and permanent double vision in her left eye.

"She had the largest break in her eyeball that I had ever seen," said Joel S. Schuman, M.D., Maura's doctor and clinical correspondent for the Academy. "She required multiple surgeries and we were hap
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SOURCE Texas Ophthalmological Association
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