Vision is Taking a Spotlight

This time of year is quite busy for the vision community. The UK’s National Eye Health Week, EVER (European Association for Vision and Eye Research) Conference, the US’ the Eye and the Auto Conference, and The Envision Conference have all just been completed. And, World Sight Day was a global success earlier this month. Our vision is incredibly valuable throughout our lives, and bringing awareness to the importance of our vision, the importance of researching our vision, and the importance of protecting our vision are incredibly important.

As September was dedicated to Sports Eye Safety, it is important to know that the cost of sports eye injuries in the U.S., alone, is estimated to be $175 million and 100,000 physician visits annually. Of the emergency department visits related to eye injury, 31% were due to sport.

Unfortunately, those most affected by sports eye injuries are children, with boys being five times more likely to sustain eye injuries, and baseball and basketball being the leading sport culprits in eye injuries in the U.S. A study found in the British Journal of Ophthalmology implicates soccer as a leading sport in eye injuries in Portugal, Norway, Israel, and Britain.

Hockey face protectors are a perfect example in the ability to prevent (up to 90%) most sports eye injuries and save money ($10 million per year by requiring hockey face protectors).

There are many resources circulating to help prevent eye-related sports injuries. For example, the National Eye Institute has a wonderful reference for all who are passionate about vision.  Additionally, Prevent Blindness America has a dedicated page to this topic. The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries, the AOA Resolution on Sports Related Eye Injuries, and the Joint Policy Statement all promote the prevention of sports eye injuries, and by implementing certain guidelines, children’s (and adults) eyes can be protected, and costs can be deterred.

The Vision Impact Institute is documenting the economic and social impact of impaired vision globally and we are constantly adding new studies on our website. If you have other studies to suggest on the cost of poor vision please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you have comments about the above, please don’t hesitate to share them with the community on visionimpactinstitute.org/research. Additionally, we have resources for the community to employ when creating keynote presentations on vision economics; please do not hesitate to contact me for requests (communitymanager@visionimpactinstitute.org).

Information about our vision is the basis for which we can understand what needs to be done to improve our vision, prevent poor vision from occurring, and help deter costs involved with poor vision.

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