On February 18, 2009, the center for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, Amar'e Stoudemire, was poked in the eye by L.A. Clippers' forward Al Thornton.
The result? A detached retina. And that followed a torn iris he suffered from a poke in the eye months earlier in training camp.
Every year, about 30,000 sports-related eye injuries lead to ER visits. Untold more send athletes to local clinics, urgent-care centers or doctors' offices.
And kids and teens are the most vulnerable: 60 percent of guys and 67 percent of girls with sports-related eye injuries are 18 or younger.
According to a new study in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, for young males 23 percent of eye injuries come from basketball, 14 percent from baseball or softball, and 11 percent from air guns (paintball was considered a sport for the study).
For young females, injuries came from baseball or softball 19 percent of the time, cycling 11 percent, and soccer 10 percent.
How do you avoid such injuries?
It's simple: Wear protective goggles or wrap-around glasses.
Dr. Mike's been instrumental in advancing this field. As chair of the medical advisory committee of The United States Squash Racquets Association and past captain of the U.S. Squash team in the Pan American games, he showed the USSRA Board the goriest eye injury pics until they mandated protective goggles for all squash matches.
If you get pushback from your kids, just mention these greats who wore goggles full-time after they were injured, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Horace Grant.
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