Keep Your Eye On The Ball… - Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital

Keep Your Eye On The Ball…

Keep Your Eye On The Ball…

That is one important way eye injuries are prevented in all sporting disciplines! If you know where the object is, you are more likely to avoid it making contact with your eyes. Getting into the routine of wearing protective clothing specific to each sport at all times from an early age creates a good life-long habit. Safety rules around glasses for squash and cycling and face shields for corners in hockey should be enforced by players, coaches, and referees alike.

Myth- My eyeglasses protect my eyes from sports injuries. Sports protection eyewear is made with a strong impact-resistant plastic material called polycarbonate. This is also able to provide UV protection for outdoor activity. Eyeglasses are much more fragile and can actually cause an injury if worn during sport. They can be worn underneath sports protection goggles if it fits safely. Alternatively, many optometrists are able to fit personalised lenses into sports eyewear. Sunglasses are not commonly included in sports-related eye protection, but for supporters, coaches and spectators it is highly recommended for all outdoor activity.

Myth – Larger balls do less harm than smaller balls. Actually, all shapes and sizes of balls can cause minor or major injuries, as can opponents’ elbows and other body parts and even sports equipment. Larger balls, such as soccer and basketballs, are more likely to injure the bones and soft tissue around the eyes. Black eyes (bruising and swelling of the soft tissues) or wounds on the surrounding skin are common injuries by larger balls, and less frequently, broken eye socket bones and damaged eye muscles. Smaller balls more often cause damage to the eyeball resulting in lacerations, bleeding in the eye, detached retina, and in the worst case, permanent loss of vision.

Myth- A bag of frozen vegetables can be used as an ice pack for eye injuries. The eye is so vulnerable to infection, so you should only use a soft item around your eyes. A clean cloth soaked in cold or iced water works perfectly. 

Myth- If my vision is blurred after an injury, I can wait overnight to see if it improves. Persistent blurred or double-vision and flashes of light or floating spots in your vision are signs that you need to consult a Doctor as soon as possible. Visible differences such as one eye looking in a different direction, different sized pupils, blood collection in the centre of the eye, or a protruding or sunken eye require an assessment by an ophthalmologist.  If your instinct feels there is a problem, it is most likely correct. Follow it! Don’t wait to “see” if it improves or you may be in difficulty.

Myth- If I feel a grain of sand in my eye it has to be there, somewhere. A gritty feeling in the eye may be caused by a small particle of dust or sand, but it may also be a laceration/ cut on the eye surface, or the sand may be embedded in the eye surface or eyelid. If the feeling persists after rinsing the eye with clean water and keeping it closed and still for 5 minutes, it may be a cut that needs treatment so please have it assessed by a doctor.

Fact- Seek help as soon as possible if you have an eye injury. 

  • An eye injury can happen to anyone at any time, so be sure to take precautions and wear protective eye gear. 
  • If irritants (such as the dust or sand mentioned above) are in the eye, flush the eye with clean water and get help. Do not rub the eye.
  • If a sharp object is stuck in the eye, don’t try to remove it. Seek help immediately.
  • If you are unsure about the severity of the injury, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room immediately. 
  • The first 24 hours after an injury are important to prevent low vision and other permanent problems.

Our Ophthalmologist on Call is available to discuss your case with your healthcare professional if they need some expert input.

Interact With Us During The Val Fowler Tournament and Win!

Win A Goodie Bag One of Two Ways!

Find us and answer our question!

Give the correct answer to any of the Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital team for the question, “What is the Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital promise”? The answer is “Expert Treatment. Exceptional Care.”

Tag us on social!

Tag the Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital (@pmbeyehospital) on TikTok or Facebook with a photo from the Val Fowler Tournament and you could win one of ten goodie bags.

📸: desdot

Comments are closed.