Sports Eye Safety Month

Eye_safetyAlthough the Olympics may be over, you may still be in the Olympic mood to play sports and unleash your inner athlete. Whether you’re picking up a sport for the first time, have been a pro for many years, or whether your kids are trying out for a fall team, it is important to remember to be safe. While you may think of putting on shin guards or kneepads to ensure your safety, you should also be sure to protect your eyes from any potential injury. Since September is Sports Eye Safety Month, we have outlined a few tips to make sure that your eyes will be unaffected as you make your way down the court or the baseball field. Read on to learn more about sports eye safety!

Sports Eye Safety

All sports can pose as a potential threat to your eyes, but some are more dangerous than others. Basketball, baseball, boxing, soccer, and any sport involving a racquet are considered “high-risk sports” in which participants should wear protective eyewear. Although high-risk sports may pose the greatest dangers to your eye safety, lower-risk sports can also damage your eye health. In just a game of racquetball alone, the ball can travel between 60 and 200 miles per hour. Since there is a quickly moving object involved in almost any sport, you should make sure to protect your eyes.

How can you ensure that your eyes are safe? Sports goggles are available for nearly all sports, and these polycarbonate goggles will protect your eyes from fast-moving objects. Sports goggles can even be made to have prescription lenses if you need corrected vision. Eye safety can make a huge difference in a game—don’t neglect your eyes the next time you hit the court!

To learn more information about sports eye safety, or to learn more information about our clinic, call Valley Eye Care Center at (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

Children’s Eye Safety and Sports

Portrait of happy boy riding bicycle in the park with his parents behindApril is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month. For this reason, we’d like to focus on how you can keep your child’s eyes safe during recreational activities. The safety of your child’s eyes is not something to be taken lightly. Protecting your child’s vision is important now in order to set her up for fewer problems later in life.

When it comes to kids eye care, there is one sure-fire way to provide protection during sports: utilizing the proper protective eyewear. While you certainly don’t want to keep your kids from enjoying their favorite sports due to a high risk of eye injury, you should take every measure necessary to ensure their safety.

Sports and Kids Eye Care

Sports present many opportunities for injury in children, even more so than adults, since children’s bodies aren’t yet fully developed. The eyes are no exception to this rule. According to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, each year more than 40 percent of eye injuries occur as a result of sports or other recreational activities. The organization also reports that of the injuries noted, 78 percent happened to people not using protective eyewear.

Preventative Measures for Kids Eye Care

Such a simple thing makes such a huge impact in the health of your child’s eyes. Just as you would never think of letting your kid ride a bike without a helmet, so should you never let him play sports without protective eyewear. Will he mumble and complain? Sure, but it’s your job as his parent to secure the future of his eye health.

If you think your child may have already suffered an eye injury or is at high risk, call to schedule an appointment today. Don’t let another minute pass without taking your kid’s eye health seriously.


Holiday Eye Safety Tips

Eye SafetyThis holiday season eye safety may not be your foremost concern. However, this time of year can be dangerous for your eyes due to toys, sports and other potential hazards. Here’s how you can protect your precious sight during the holidays.

Age-Appropriate Gifts

Giving presents recommended for the child’s age group is incredibly important. Small children can get hurt very easily playing with toys that fire projectiles, are meant to be thrown or have sharp edges. Supervising kids of different age groups as they play is also helpful to make sure play doesn’t become too rough, and that toys aren’t misused. An avoidable eye injury can put a damper on your child’s holiday spirit.

Cooking Safety

With so much work to do in preparation for holiday parties, you may find yourself in front of the stove for long periods of time. Be cautious of boiling sauces, steaming pots and splattering grease as you work. Any of these hazards could burn your eye or the surrounding skin, which is incredibly painful and may cause vision loss.

Sports Protection

Part of the fun of the holidays is time spent with family and friends. Keep eye safety in mind while you play. Make sure everyone is equipped with safety eyewear while playing sports. If you’re spending your holidays in a colder climate, snow sports place a stronger need on having protective eyewear since snow and wind can dry out eyes. UV rays reflecting off of snowy surfaces can accelerate cataracts and cause eye cancer, in addition to photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye). Wear UV-blocking sunglasses for optimal protection.

Eye safety should be on your mind all year round, but especially during the holidays. Protect your own sight and that of your kids by using common sense, and staying aware of your surroundings this holiday season. To learn more about eye safety options, contact your optometrist today!

How Can I Protect My Eyes In The Winter?

Eye CareSummer might seem to be a more obvious time for eye injuries, but winter is no time to disregard your eye care and safety. Bright conditions and wintertime activities can be just as hazardous to your precious peepers. Fortunately, most eye injuries are preventable.

Sunglasses All Year

The brightness of the sun glancing off of snow or water isn’t just annoying, it’s detrimental to your eye health. UV rays are present all year round, and the reflection of the sun off of those surfaces means double the chance for UV rays to find your eyes. Wearing the right UV-blocking and polarized sunglasses will protect your vulnerable eyes from conditions such as skin cancer and cataracts. Sunglasses are also a benefit in windy conditions that typically make your eyes water and burn.

The Right Sporting Goods

The best piece of sports equipment you can invest in is a proper pair of protective glasses or goggles for your sport. If you’re planning on snowboarding or skiing this winter, make sure to buy goggles that fit your face and protect your eyes. Today’s protective equipment is light and far more stylish than in the past, plus you can often kill two birds with one stone and get a pair that is UV-blocking and polarized. You’ll protect your eyes from the elements, plus see everything crisply during play.

Dry Eyes

When you participate in wintertime activities, the colder temperatures and windy conditions can make your eyes feel gritty and dry. Keeping your eyes as moist as possible will improve your comfort, and prevent your vision from becoming blurry or obscured. Ask your optometrist about moisturizing drops, wear sunglasses outside and make sure you give your eyes an occasional break from the winter weather.

Your eye care is something you should think about at all times of the year, but winter brings its own form of eye care problems. Talk to your optometrist for suggestions on wintertime eyewear and other methods to defend your sight this season!


How To Take Care Of Your Eyeglasses

Eye CareProper eye care goes beyond just your eyes. If you wear glasses it’s very important to take the best possible care of your lenses. Broken or damaged glasses might not hurt your vision in the long-term, but they can interfere with your vision as well as cause painful headaches.

Good Eyeglasses Care Is Good Eye Care

1 – Keep them in a case.

It’s tempting to just throw your glasses onto a side table at night, but that’s asking for accidents to happen. Keeping them in a solid case when not in use will protect against most everyday damage and accidents.

2 – Only use soft cloths to wipe them.

Different kinds of lenses have varying scratch-resistance, but the easiest way to accidentally scratch them is by “cleaning” with improper materials. Cotton and other rough fabrics will put tiny scratches in the lenses that, over time, build up to create constant refractions, or “lens flair” effects.

These can make the glasses distracting to wear, as well as increase your chance of eye-strain headaches.

3 – Never wear broken lenses.

Avoid wearing broken lenses unless you truly have no other option. Besides impairing your vision, broken lenses have a much higher chance of breaking further. If this happens, they’re far more likely to cause eye damage with shards or slivers of glass or plastic.

4 – Occasionally clean with mild detergent and disinfectant. 

It’s not necessary to clean your glasses as often as contacts. However, over time they will build up dirt and grime (especially around the nosepiece and rims) and a layer of oil can form on the lenses. They’ll last longer and be more hygienic with a thorough wet cleaning about once a week.

5 – Wear Sports Goggles For Sports

Only true sports goggles are rated to protect your eyes against an impact to your corrective lenses. Both glasses and contacts increase your risk of eye injury from a hit to the face.

And, of course, don’t forget to update your prescription at least once a year! Contact your Phoenix eye doctor today for more eye care information.

Eye Safety In The Summer!

Eye_SafetyIt probably comes as no surprise, but eye injuries are most common in the summer, especially among children. Eye safety is always an important concern, but special care should be taken during summer activities. It’s all too easy for a small accident to turn into an ocular emergency.

Whether it’s for you or your child, here are a few great tips for protecting your eyesight during summertime fun!

Eye Safety In The Summer: Four Hot Tips

1. Wear Goggles In Any Sports

A pair of sports goggles is a good investment for anyone who plays outdoor sports and needs corrective lenses. Glasses and contacts can both be shattered in the case of an impact, such as from a baseball or basketball. This makes an accidental head shot far more likely to cause eye damage.

Sports goggles, however, are reinforced to resist shattering, even in high-speed collisions. They’re the only safe option when flying objects are part of the game.

2. Immediately Flush Eyes Of Foreign Objects  

If someone ends up in the dirt and foreign materials get in their eye, the most important thing is to not rub them. We have an instinct to do so, but this can easily damage our corneas with scratching or tearing. Simply flush the eye with water (or saline eye-drops) while blinking rapidly until the particles are cleared.

3. Use Masks In The Water

One of the most common sources of eye infections is from swimming, especially with eyes open underwater. A properly Ph-balanced pool should be germ-free, but the chemicals in the water can still irritate the eye – remember, you’re pouring acid in that pool. And, of course, exposing your eyes directly to untreated water, like lakes or oceans, is an incredibly bad idea.

Swim masks or (non-corrective) goggles can prevent a lot of needless eye infections among swimmers.

4. Fireworks Are Always Dangerous

Please take caution when using any sort of fireworks. Even common sparklers can cause eye damage, if a spark makes a direct hit. Anyone working with any sort of fireworks should be wearing protective eyewear. Even wearing your glasses, rather than contacts, will help a lot here.

Stay Safe This Summer!

Your eye safety should be paramount in any summer activities.  In the case of any eye emergency that can’t be fixed with water, your next step should be to call your Phoenix Optometrist immediately for further advice.


Summer is Around the Corner! Prepare Your Eyes

Have you talked to your Phoenix optometrist about protecting your eyes during the sunny Arizona summer?

Many people don’t think about it, but summer poses particular challenges to eye health. The increased rays from the sun can also cause increased eye damage. For the best long-term vision, you should be protecting your eyes – and those of your children! – whenever going out into the hot summer sun.

We have some tips for summertime vision protection that any optometrist would agree with.

Phoenix_OptometristProtecting Sensitive Eyes In The Summertime

1 – Wear UV-protective sunglasses.

Many don’t realize this, but your eyeballs can get also sunburned from too much UV exposure – and it hurts. Worse, increased UV exposure early in life has been linked to an increased chance of cataracts in later years.

Don’t just buy Dollar Store sunglasses. Spend the extra money for UV protection.

2 – Use sunscreen on your face.

Here’s something many people don’t think about: your face is a somewhat reflective surface, and extra UV bouncing off your skin will end up hitting your eyes. Good sunscreen on your face, especially on your cheeks and around your eyes, will stop reflected UV from damaging your eyes.

3 – Beware poison oak and ivy.

The oil from these “poison” vines is well-known for causing a lot of pain and itching. If you or little ones come into contact with poison vines, don’t just wash the skin; immediately wash the clothes as well. Poison vine oil on a shirt can easily transfer to someone’s face or eyes, making for a highly uncomfortable couple days.

4 – Always wear sports goggles.

Sports-related injuries are the #1 non-natural source of eye damage, and they’re almost entirely avoidable. Sports goggles are a must-have when playing any summer sports involving any physical contact or, especially, anything involving sticks or flying objects. A direct hit from a baseball or basketball can be devastating to an unprotected eye.

You only get one pair of eyes, so protect them in the summer! Or, if you have questions about summer eye safety, contact your Phoenix optometrist for more information.

Invest in Sports Eyewear

Maybe it sounds like common sense, but we think it bears repeating:  Whenever playing any sport, you should wear eye safety goggles.  Your long-term vision is too precious to risk with fun and games.

There might be a few exceptions – like track and field events – but even then, proper protective eyewear is still a good idea.  Otherwise, even non-contact sports can pose significant dangers.  The medical literature is filled with horror stories of eye injuries resulting from even supposedly safe pastimes, like golfing.

Phoenix_Eye_SafetySports Create Serious Ocular Dangers

Wild shots can happen all the time in baseball, cricket, golf, tennis, lacrosse, hockey, and virtually any other team sport.  The balls and other objects used in these sports can easily reach velocities that shatter eye sockets, or destroy eyeballs, with a direct hit.

The dangers become even greater when dealing with sports where extensive physical contact is involved.  Football, rugby, and any fighting-based sport will bring even more direct dangers to eye safety.  Even if it’s entirely accidental, a single misplaced finger in a dogpile could ruin an eye.

All this underscores how important is is to always wear protective sports eyewear whenever engaging in sport, even if you don’t normally wear glasses.

The good news is, there’s no dispute that sports goggles do help prevent eye injury.  In one study of high school hockey players, it was found that students who weren’t required to wear goggles had a fivefold increase in their chances of eye injury.  That’s a lot of risk to their vision, when a simple set of sports eyewear could keep them safe.

Don’t Play Games With Your Eyesight

Our eyes are too important and too irreplaceable to have them be damaged by injuries that are preventable.  If you always wear protective eyewear while playing sports, you’ll be helping to ensure your eye safety.

Winter Sports and Eye Health

Eye_Protection‘Tis the season for fun and frolic of the winter variety. While suiting up for snow and outdoor activities, eye safety should be part of your checklist, and it is something you should always try to remember. Here are a few things to keep in mind this winter before you leave the house for seasonal fun.

Sun and Glare

Just about everyone knows that the sun’s light can be both harmful and beneficial. UV rays are the dangerous component of sunlight, and are no less present in the winter months than in the summertime. In fact, snowy surfaces can reflect UV rays and create an even bigger problem than you might imagine. During sports like skiing and snowboarding, you may actually get sunburnt on the surface of your eyes, a very painful issue known as Photokeratitis. Glare from the reflection off of water or sun also creates a blinding condition. For the good of your eye health, it is important to always wear UV blocking sunglasses while partaking in winter sports.

Sports Hazards

Snowball fights, curling, and hockey all have flying objects that pose a serious threat to your eye health. Any time you participate in a sport that involves projectiles, it is very important to wear the proper eye protection. Most sporting goods stores have a great selection of safety goggles made especially for sports protection, otherwise talk to your optometrist about your eye safety options. He or she can advise you on the type to choose based on your lifestyle, eyecare needs, and sports in which you are involved.

Eye safety is no joke, but it’s easy to protect yourself while also enjoying all of your favorite winter sports and activities. Talk to your Phoenix eye doctor today about how to stay safe while having a great time this season!

3 Ways to Protect your Eyes this Winter

You might think of summertime as coming with a more obvious chance of incurring eye injuries, but the truth is that winter comes with a significant set of eye safety risks as well. How can you enjoy wintertime fun without hazard to your vision?

Eye_ProtectionSports Protection

During the winter, there is  much fun to be had, whether you are a snow sport enthusiast, or opt for beach sports in a warmer climate. Either way, be sure to purchase and wear the appropriate eye safety gear, such as goggles for skiing, swimming or snowmobiling, protective eyewear for football and volleyball, or safety glasses for any sport that involves flying projectiles.


While it may seem counter-intuitive to worry about the sun during the winter, the fact is that damaging UV rays are still present this time of year, plus snow and water are highly reflective and multiply the effects of those rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses that are rated as UV blocking for the best protection possible, and have them on anytime you are outside during daylight. Doing this will help protect you against future problems like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, plus prevent a very painful condition called Photokeratitis, which is basically a sunburn of the eye.

Be Aware

Winter is a great time to enjoy activities with family and friends. No matter what sports or pastimes you enjoy, it is so important to pay attention to your surroundings. A brief moment where you are distracted and not completely engaged in what is occurring around you can mean an eye safety tragedy, or worse. Accidents happen in less than the blink of an eye and can leave you visually impaired for life. This risk increases when you are involved in winter sports so stay alert.

Get out this winter and enjoy time with loved ones doing the things you enjoy. Use some caution and add some eye safety protection to your fun so that it can continue for many more years to come.