April is Sports Eye Safety Month

Did you know that April is Sports Eye Safety Month? Thousands of people are blinded by sports-related eye injuries. Please check out the American Academy of Ophthalmology article below as 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable by wearing protective eye wear! You’ll especially want to check out their sight-saving tips and their terrific Sports Eye Injuries Infographic! Spring sports seasons are starting, so parents, coaches, and athletes please read carefully.

(Image via FPOC)
Dr. Taustine feels very strongly about the importance of eye protection. Want proof? Check out this article below:
If you watch high school sports in the Louisville area, you will notice an extremely important change that has taken place in the last few years. The field hockey players are wearing protection for their faces and eyes!
Field hockey is a sport with heavy sticks being swung at close range to other players and a similarly heavy ball hurtling down the field sometimes close to 100 mph.  Either of these is capable of producing devastating facial and eye injury.  Dr. Taustine’s daughters’ began playing the sport  years ago.  As an eye surgeon, Dr. Taustine immediately recognized the danger and began a campaign to require eye protection.  At the time only his daughters wore the protection to their initial embarrassment.  In frustration he even offered to pay for eye protectors for his daughters’ entire team.  Over the course of a few seasons they saw the injuries occurring for themselves.  Soon no parental demands were needed. 
Dr. Taustine teamed up with local television station’s WAVE and WHAS to produce stories on the danger of playing without proper protection. “Protective eyewear can prevent up to 90 percent of sports eye injuries and I have been a staunch advocate of protective eyewear for sports teams in our community because eye injuries are one of the leading causes of visual impairment in children,” said Dr. Lloyd Taustine of the Taustine Eye Center.  “Parents need to understand that children can end up with injuries ranging from abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids to internal eye injuries such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding,” he said.
Slowly attitudes began to change.  The National Federation of State High School Associations finally voted in 2011-12 to mandate the use of facial and eye guards for field hockey players. 
Dr. Taustine’s daughter recently played in her first high school alumni game since the rule went into effect. She said it was neat seeing the varsity team wearing eye guards when she used to be the only one that would wear them. It was especially satisfying knowing that all the hard work her father put into campaigning for the safety of her and her teammates was actually happening!
Think of the faces which will not be disfigured and the eyes which will be saved by the new protectors.  Dr. Taustine deserves a lot of credit for the new change around Louisville high school field hockey, but he is just happy to make a positive change in young peoples’ lives. Way to go Dr. T!

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