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Sports-Related Eye Injuries

September Is Sports Eye Safety Month in Copperas Cove!

Ocular sports trauma is among the leading causes of permanent vision loss in North America. Tens of thousands of people get treated for sports-related eye injuries a year, with the most common injuries occurring during water sports and basketball. Infections, corneal abrasions, eye socket fractures, and detached retinas are just a few of the typical cases eye doctors encounter on a regular basis.

Sports Eye Safety Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) to remind people to protect their eyes when playing sports. Though young children are usually the most vulnerable to eye injuries, it should be noted that professional athletes can also suffer eye injuries while on the job.

Eye accidents can happen in a split second – the effects can last a lifetime…

By wearing protective eyewear, you can safeguard your eyesight without compromising on your favorite sports activities. Athletes who wear contact lenses still need additional eye protection for relevant sports.

At Cove Eyecare, our eye doctor is experienced and trained to treat sports-induced eye injuries sustained by our active patients. Dr. Micheline Young and our dedicated staff are committed to providing the most comprehensive eye care to help get you back on the field again. Furthermore, we provide consultations on a wide array of protective eyewear for all your sporting needs.

What Eye Injuries Can Be Caused by Sports?

Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion, also known as a scratched cornea, is the most common sports-related eye injury. When someone gets poked in the eye, the eye’s surface can get scratched. Symptoms may include acute pain and a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes, as well as redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headaches, blurry or decreased vision. Medical care includes prevention or treatment of infection, and pain management. If you suspect that you have suffered a corneal abrasion, make sure to see an eye doctor right away.

Traumatic Iritis

Iritis is an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye. The condition rapidly develops and typically affects only one eye. Symptoms include pain in the eye or brow region, blurred vision, a small or oddly-shaped pupil, and sensitivity to bright lights.

Hyphema

Hyphema is among the more common sports-related eye injuries, with racquet sports, baseball and softball accounting for more than 50% of all hyphema injuries in athletics.

A hyphema is a broken blood vessel inside the eye which causes blood to collect in the space between the cornea and iris, also known as the “anterior chamber”. Although the main symptom is blood in the eye, it can be accompanied by blurry or distorted vision, light sensitivity or eye pain.

If you recognize the signs and symptoms of hyphema, make sure to seek immediate medical attention in order to avoid secondary complications.

Angle recession

Angle recession can develop from an eye injury or bruising of the eye, caused by getting punched, elbowed, or hit with a ball. The trauma damages the fluid drainage system of the eye, which causes it to back up, increasing the pressure in the eye. In 20% of people with angle recession, this pressure can become so severe that it damages the optic nerve, and causes glaucoma (known as “angle-recession glaucoma”).

You may not notice any symptoms at first, and it may take years before you experience any signs of vision loss. Therefore, it’s critical to visit the eye doctor as soon as possible for a complete eye exam and make sure that you follow-up with routine screenings.

Retinal tear or detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition in which the retina gets lifted or pulled away from its normal position at the back of the eye. If not treated immediately, retinal detachment can develop permanent vision loss.

Symptoms include seeing flashing lights, floaters or little black spots in your vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency and requires an eye doctor’s immediate attention – surgical intervention may be necessary.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

This happens when a blood vessel breaks on the white part of the eye. In addition to a sport-related injury, it can be induced by rubbing the eye, heavy lifting, sneezing or coughing. For those with subconjunctival hemorrhage, the eye appears intensely red – though this minor condition will often clear up within a couple weeks on its own without treatment.

Orbital Fracture

This occurs when one or more of the bones around the eyeball break, often caused by a hard blow to the face – such as by a baseball or a fist. This is a major injury and should be assessed by an eye doctor, like Dr. Micheline Young, along with X-Rays or CT scan imaging to help confirm the diagnosis.

Black Eye or Periorbital Hematoma

A “shiner” can occur when a blunt object such as a fist or ball strikes the eye-area of the face and causes bruising. Typically, this kind of injury affects the face more than the eye. Blurry vision may be a temporary symptom, but it’s a good idea to get a black eye checked out by an optometrist in any case, because sometimes there is accompanying damage to the eye which could impact vision.

How Does One Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries?

One of the most important things one can do in order to prevent eye injuries is to wear protective eyewear. In fact, wearing eye protection should be part of any athlete’s routine, and should be prioritized just like wearing shin guards or a helmet.

Below are a few tips to prevent sports-related eye injuries:

  • Wear safety goggles (with polycarbonate lenses) for racquet sports or basketball. For the best possible protection, the eye guard or sports protective eyewear should be labeled “ASTM F803 approved” – which means it is performance tested.
  • Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball.
  • If you wear prescription eyewear, speak with Dr. Micheline Young about fitting you for prescription protective eyewear.
  • Sports eye protection should be comfortably padded along the brow and bridge of the nose, to prevent the eye guards from cutting into the skin.
  • Try on protective eyewear to assess whether it’s the right fit and size for you and adjust the straps as needed. For athletic children who are still growing, make sure that last-year’s pair still fits before the new sports season begins. Consult Dr. Micheline Young to determine whether the comfort and safety levels are adequate.
  • Keep in mind that regular glasses don’t provide nearly enough eye protection when playing sports.

For athletes, whether amateur or pro, there is so much more at stake than just losing the game. Fortunately, by wearing high-quality protective eyewear, you can prevent 90% of all sports-related eye injuries.

Speak with Dr. Micheline Young at Cove Eyecare about getting the right sports-related protective eyewear to ensure healthy eyes and clear vision. Our eye care clinic serves patients from Copperas Cove and the surrounding areas.

At Cove Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you build up healthy sports vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Micheline Young

Q: What is Sports Vision?

  • A: Sports vision is a specific discipline of optometric practice focused on the evaluation, remediation, and enhancement of the visual performance of athletes.

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Stop squinting – Contact Lens Sunglasses Exist!

Sunglasses have always been your go-to for shading your eyes to stop squinting in the sun, but they’re not always the most convenient accessory. They fog up and slip down your nose when you work up a sweat, and need to be wiped off when you’re hit by water spray at the beach. But what’s the alternative? Is there another way to protect your eyes from UV rays and soothe your vision from the blinding Copperas Cove light?

Our Cove Eyecare eye doctors are pleased to offer a revolutionary solution – the new ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ contact lenses. These contact lenses that can act like sunglasses were given FDA approval in April 2018. And they were also awarded to be one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2018.

Now that we’ve caught your eye with this hot new tech, read on for more info about Acuvue’s contact lenses sunglasses from your favorite Copperas Cove, Texas optometrists’ office.

Smart & Dynamic Contact Lenses

ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ are the first contacts to be developed that “read” the light conditions in your environment and adapt to enhance your vision. These lenses use photochromic technology that was designed in partnership with Transitions™, the leading manufacturer of photochromic eyeglasses lenses. The contacts incorporate a special additive that darkens automatically when exposed to light.

When exposed to outdoor UV and/or blue light from digital devices, these contacts react quickly. And because they respond “intelligently” to changing light conditions outdoors, the lenses do not typically remain in the darkest state the whole time you’re outside. So when you’re on an open stretch of beach, they’re not the same as when you’re standing under the shade of a wide awning. The effects on the appearance of your eyes is minimal, and when you come indoors, they fade back to clear within 60 seconds.

Sharper, Safer Vision – All Day Long

Surveys estimate that 94% of all consumers compensate for bright light conditions by squinting, dimming indoor lights, reducing screen brightness, or shading their eyes. ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ filter indoor and outdoor light, including blue light rays that threaten your eye health. At night, these contact lenses sunglasses are also useful, as they reduce haloes and starburst. Your vision will improve during all hours of the day.

See the Benefits of Contact Lenses Sunglasses

  • Experience the comfort and convenience of going frame-free – while still safeguarding your vision
  • Highest level of UV protection in a contact lens
  • When you go into a darker environment, these contacts help your vision recover from bright light up to 5 seconds faster than normal
  • Ultimate gain, with only a minimal change to the appearance of your eyes and face
  • Crisp nighttime vision, with no disturbing haloes or starbursts
  • Soothing vision all day long, without bothersome glare

Visit our Copperas Cove, Texas, eye doctor to try ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™

We’re thrilled to offer these breakthrough contacts at Cove Eyecare! Our eye doctors would like to point out that while these contact lenses sunglasses are truly remarkable, we don’t recommend that you use them to replace your sunglasses all of the time.

While they offer exceptional UV protection to the areas they cover, contact lenses still leave other parts of your eyes and the surrounding ocular tissue naked to UV light. Sunglasses cover a wider area and therefore give additional protection. In addition, car windshields block close to 100% of UV light, so your ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ won’t darken when you’re behind the wheel. To solve that problem, they can easily be worn under non-prescription sunglasses. So when you visit Cove Eyecare for your contact lenses fitting, check out our nonprescription sunglasses collection too!


At Cove Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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