Eye on Safety: Canadian Ophthalmological Society urges proper precautions during Sports Eye Safety Month

TORONTO, ON, April 16, 2021 /CNW/ – As Spring’s warmer weather beckons everyone outdoors for more exercise and play, the Canadian…

TORONTO, ON, April 16, 2021 /CNW/ – As Spring’s warmer weather beckons everyone outdoors for more exercise and play, the Canadian Ophthalmology Society is reminding Canadians to protect their vision, particularly now during Sports Eye Safety month. This is especially true for kids, many of whom are likely tired of being indoors and eager to let loose with games and sports activities amid the stresses of the pandemic.

“Accidents can always happen, not just in organized sports but also when just throwing a ball or frisbee in the backyard, and in particular any sport with small projectiles,” says Dr. Bryce Ford, the official ophthalmologist for the Calgary Flames and a Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Calgary. “Wearing protective eyewear can help reduce injuries that range from minor bruising or corneal abrasion to retinal detachment and even complete vision loss.”

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) revealed that the most common causes of sports-related eye injuries among children and adults in Canada are hockey, racquet sports and baseball, with badminton the leading cause among racquet sports–related eye injuries. In the U.S., nearly 30,000 sports-related eye injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year, yet protective eyewear could prevent 90 per cent of serious eye injuries. This means more than just wearing contact lenses or vision correction glasses as these don’t protect the eyes from impact, debris or damage – and some may even shatter, leading to more injury.

“Anything that flies with any force, such as paintballs or Nerf gun darts – or even debris such as mud or gravel – can cause eye injuries that could otherwise be prevented with precaution,” he adds.

Dr. Ford advises Canadians to wear the proper safety equipment that meets the standard requirements of the sport, such as face masks or goggles, and which should be made of polycarbonate material as it resists shattering and can provide UV (ultraviolet light) protection. 

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society recommends taking the following steps when shopping for toys to ensure your children are safe this holiday season:

Even if you think an injury is minor or are unsure you have an eye injury, it’s best to get checked out by your eye doctor. In general, anything other than small scratches or grit in the eye may be potentially serious. Signs of a potentially serious eye injury are:

  • Continuous eye pain
  • Difficulty seeing
  • One eye not moving as well as the other
  • Cut/torn eyelid
  • One eye sticking further out of its socket
  • Unusual pupil size or shape
  • Something in the eye that can’t be removed by tears/blinking
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye (the clear, dome-shaped area at the front of the eye between your cornea and iris)

For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of eye injuries, visit seethepossibilities.ca.

About Canadian Ophthalmological Society

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the national, recognized authority on eye and vision care in Canada. As eye physicians and surgeons, we are committed to assuring the provision of optimal medical and surgical eye care for all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and by providing services to support our members in practice. Our membership includes over 900 ophthalmologists and 200 ophthalmology residents. We work collaboratively with government, other national and international specialty societies, our academic communities (ACUPO), our provincial partners and affiliates and other eye care professionals and patient groups to advocate for health policy in Canada in the area of eye and vision health. COS is an accredited, award-winning provider of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and is an affiliate of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). For more information, visit cos-sco.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Ophthalmological Society