Is Your Child Risking an Eye Injury While Playing Sports?

WHAT: School is back in session - and many parents who are fortunate enough to have kids that like to participate in sports have concerns about eye safety for their active youngsters. And for good reason: Each year, more than 100,000 children suffer some kind of an eye injury while playing sports.

"September is sports eye safety awareness month," says Sandy T. Feldman, MD, Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center in San Diego, "And that makes this the perfect time to make sure we're protecting our young athletes' eyes as best we can."

Dr. Feldman is available to discuss this topic and such issues as whether contact lenses or eyeglasses or prescription goggles are the best options for kids who need vision correction while participating in sports.

Advantages (and disadvantages) of contact lenses:

  • Most eye doctors consider contacts the best choice for athletes. And a majority of them think soft lenses can be appropriate for children as young as 10 years old
  • Contact lenses provide superior peripheral vision and depth perception. They deliver clear vision no matter how much movement is involved and won't fog up when it's excessively hot or cold.
  • On the other hand, contact lenses provide no protection from being poked in the eye and shouldn't be worn while participating in water sports.

Advantages (and disadvantages) of eyeglasses:

  • Eyeglasses protect your eyes from external dangers like dirt and debris and being poked in the eye.
  • Eyeglasses can break or shatter during a violent collision to the face or eyes and cause significant injury. In fact, many sports (such as hockey and football) won't allow regular eyeglasses to be worn at all while playing.

Advantages (and disadvantages) of prescription goggles and safety glasses:

  • Prescription goggles, as well as prescription safety glasses, protect your eyes from dirt, debris and dangers like being poked. Unlike regular glasses, goggles and safety glasses won't break or shatter on impact. Prescription goggles are also a great choice for water sports.
  • They can, however, still fog up when it's extremely hot or cold. Plus, they don't offer the same great vision while playing that contacts offer. Also, it can be difficult to wear protective headgear of some kinds of goggles.

Of course, even if children don't need vision correction while playing, the number one thing parents can do to protect their eyes is to get them a proper pair non-prescription safety glasses or goggles and make sure they are ASTM F803 approved, which is performance tested to provide the highest level of eye protection.

WHO: Dr. Sandy Feldman is a San Diego-based leader in ophthalmology and one of the nation's top 15 Lasik eye surgeons.

CONTACT: I am happy to arrange an interview with Dr. Feldman to discuss children's vision or any other eye-related topics. Please contact Diana Solstesz at [email protected] or 818.618.5634.

About Sandy T. Feldman, MD

Sandy T. Feldman MD, Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center, is a world-renowned corneal expert who has successfully performed more than 20,000 refractive procedures. Clearview has been voted Best LASIK center by the San Diego Union Tribune (five times) and by CityBeat Magazine (three times). Dr. Feldman's many awards include Top Doc San Diego; the Goldline Award, an honor granted to the top 10 laser eye care specialists in the U.S.; and the Silver Elite RealSelf Award. She has also been profiled in publications such as Forbes and Newsweek and makes frequent appearances as an expert commentator on TV talk shows and news programs. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. More details at


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