Who Is At Greatest Risk For Eye Injury?

Raquetball_PlayerAlmost half of the 2.5 million eye injuries reported annually occur in individuals ages 18-45. The second largest age group (25%) receiving the most eye injuries are children. Even more specifically, older teens and young adults in their late twenties present the highest numbers within these groups. Of the total number of injuries, 73% of them are received by males.

Older teens and young adults receive the majority of their eye injuries from sports. The rate of injury for this group when playing sports is highest in sports like basketball, football, soccer and leisure sports (golf, tennis, bowling, etc.). Fighting and typical horsing around account for a portion of eye injuries in this age group as well. In addition, older teens generally tend to fail to pay attention to printed warnings about potential eye injury.

In addition to eye injury from sports and horsing around, young adults also receive many of their eye injuries from yard work, flying particles in a work area and from chemicals. Eye injury for women in this group also often comes from mascara wands and scratches from fingernails. In addition, young adults receive a number of eye injuries from exploding grills and fireplaces as well as from fireworks.

Older adults do not escape eye injury by any means with nearly 27% of injuries reported annually being received by individuals 46 and older. Much of the same causes of eye injury in individuals below 46 result in eye injury for those over that age, just not as many. Perhaps this is because caution increases and activity decreases with age, at least for some individuals.

There is one factor that remains constant throughout age groups and regardless of type of injury. And that factor is that the majority of ALL of these eye injuries can be prevented. The single best way to prevent eye injury, regardless of age and activity, is by wearing protective eyewear. In fact, 90% of eye injuries are preventable by wearing protective eyewear.

Fortunately, a plethora of options exist to fit every age and activity, which means few excuses exist for not wearing protective eyewear in any and every situation. There is sports eyewear, over-prescription eyewear, safety sunglasses, shooting glasses and Rx ready eyewear. Safety eyewear even exists specifically made for women and children.

For individuals needing safety eyewear for multiple situations, there’s convertible safety eyewear and multi-lens safety eyewear too. From motorcycle eyewear to safety goggles, the options available really eliminate excuses that sometimes seem to cross age and gender lines.

Eye injury, while more prevalent in some age groups over others, really does not have an age or gender bias. For this reason, both men and women regardless of age can do the one thing that will start to reduce that 2.5 million eye injuries per year… wear protective eyewear!

UV Protection – Eliminating Excuses

Smith & Wesson Mini-Magnum with Gold Metallic Mirror Lens

Smith & Wesson Mini-Magnum with Gold Metallic Mirror Lens

Most people agree that sunglasses can protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Most people also believe that eye protection benefits overall health. And the majority of individuals usually wears sunglasses during outdoor activities and while driving. Yet, not even half of individuals surveyed actually wear sunglasses that truly protect their eyes. In addition, the majority of people also feel that children should wear sunglasses too, but one glance at a park or ball field on sunny day and the lack of follow through in this area is obvious.

So why the disparity? Many individuals focus only on fashion when choosing sunglasses, or they don’t feel that UV protection is an absolute necessity. The following 5 facts provide the necessary information to help eliminate excuses for not protecting eyes against harmful UV rays.

  1. Experts stress the importance of UV protection for eyes. In “How the Sun Affects Our Eyes: An Interview with an Optometrist,” author Denise Cripps details that not only is the accumulated affect of UV rays on the eyes significant, but it is especially so for those under 18. Because protecting eyes is so crucial, eliminating excuses for not protecting them is a worthwhile pursuit.
  2. You can have BOTH fashion and UV protection. Many individuals choose sunglasses based on fashion. Unfortunately, fashion sunglasses often fail to protect eyes against harmful UV rays. Yet fortunately, a large variety of sunglasses DO PROTECT the eyes and also LOOK GREAT on the wearer. Check out these options, and you’ll quickly become a believer.
  3. Affordability is no longer an issue. While many sunglasses with UV protection can get pricey, there are just as many that are quite affordable. Makers like Tapout provide a variety of fashionable and affordable options with several items pricing out below $20.
  4. The options available eliminate excuses. Individuals who wear prescription glasses as well as those needing an additional level of safety because of their job no longer have to compromise either. There are a variety of over-prescription eyewear, prescription-ready sunglasses, and safety sunglasses with UV protection to fit anyone’s unique situation. Even those wearing bifocals have some terrific options for sunglasses.
  5. Protecting your child’s eyes doesn’t have to be expensive. Many people are hesitant to spend a lot on sunglasses for children because in general children tend to either be rough or forgetful and often both. Fortunately, many inexpensive options such as the Smith & Wesson Mini-Magnum Safety Glasses with Gold Metallic Mirror and the Dewalt Renovator Small Safety Glasses with Indoor-Outdoor Lens exist to protect young eyes against UV rays as well as against impact hazards such as those that come with sports. Options are so affordable, that purchasing a back-up pair is not out of the question.

Changing habits can be a struggle for many people, and education can be a key component to eliminate excuses that stand in the way. This fact certainly holds true for protecting eyes against harmful rays from the sun. With the elimination of the excuses addressed in the above 5 facts, hopefully the disparity between belief and action can be reduced.

Stay tuned for next week’s article that will identify and address one of the biggest reasons many individuals do not wear sunglasses.