Sports-related eye injuries often result in vision loss, and are the leading cause of blindness in children.1 According to the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), in the United States, sports-related eye injuries account for over 100,000 physician visits per year at an estimated cost of $175 million. Since most eye injuries are preventable, more sight may be preserved by exercising injury prevention techniques.
Protective eyewear is vitally important in the prevention of injury, but the NEI and NEHEP also strongly recommend that all people who participate in sporting activities have comprehensive eye exams as part of their regular physical examinations, especially for those with pre-existing eye conditions. optomap® has a huge part to play in facilitating difficult eye examinations, and in supporting the early detection of peripheral retinal complications following sports-related eye injuries.
Direct, blunt force injury to the eye often causes swelling for several days, making a comprehensive retinal examination difficult. Early assessment of the eye is imperative in saving sight, as these injuries cause a high risk of retinal detachment or retinal bleed. The half-second capture speed and non-mydriatic advantages of optomap technology allow for more timely, less invasive access to the retina. As long as the pupil can be seen, optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging has the ability to produce a 200° (82%), detailed clinical record of the retina. Not only would this be less painful and less stressful for the patient, but it would provide excellent data for prompt specialist referral, if required.
Not all sports-related eye injuries are immediately apparent to the patient; but if left undetected, they can lead to blindness.2 In these situations, optomap imaging is critical in detecting subtle damage, such as retinal holes or tears in the periphery. optomap technology supports improved patient outcomes, and is invaluable in supporting the early detection, intervention and management of sports-related eye injuries.
- National Eye Institute and National Eye Health Education Program (2017) Sports-Related Eye Injuries – What You Need to Know and Tips for Prevention https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2014/201/2/childrens-protective-eyewear-challenges-and-way-forward
- Susanne Medeiros and Beatrice Shelton (2017) Sight-Threatening Injury Turns Teenager into Sports Eye Safety Advocate, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/patient-stories-detail/angellia-retinal-detachment Sight-Threatening Injury Turns Teenager into Sports Eye Safety Advocate