How to prevent eye injuries while playing basketball

Metro News Service
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
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According to Prevent Blindness America, more eye injuries occur while playing basketball than any other sport. METRO NEWS SERVICE

School is back in session for many students. As families adjust to all-virtual instruction, a return to the classroom and hybrid arrangements, that adjustment period may be made easier by extracurricular sports programs — many of which are returning, albeit on altered schedules.

Basketball is a popular sport played in high schools and colleges each winter. The High School Athletics Participation Survey from the National Federation of State High School Associations points out that basketball is the most widely played sport on high school campuses.

And basketball thrives off campus as well. The sports information site Sports Rec says that more than 300 million people worldwide enjoy basketball.

Like all sports, basketball can pose certain safety risks. According to Prevent Blindness America, more eye injuries occur while playing basketball than any other sport. An estimated 4,597 basketball-related eye injuries occurred in 2019, with the vast majority affecting players ages 15 and older. Eye injuries on the basketball court usually result from being hit with fingers or elbows. Adequate eye protection can safeguard athletes from such injuries. Sports safety goggles and glasses can protect the eyes when scrambling for loose balls or when fighting for a rebound in the paint.

Basketball players should receive guidance about eye protection from their coaches and athletic directors. Athletes also can speak to an eye professional about which options are available.

More information about sports eye health is available at www.preventblindness.org.