ISVA and Zyloware Offer Educational Resource on Eye Protection in Sports/Recreational Activities

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MONROE, N.J.—The International Sports Vision Association (ISVA) and Zyloware Eyewear today announced the launch of Protect. Prevent. Play., a new educational resource designed to help eyecare professionals educate parents, coaches, teachers, athletic trainers and athletes of all ages and skill levels about the importance of wearing appropriate protective eyewear to help reduce the chance of eye injury. “About 30,000 sports-related eye injuries serious enough to end in a visit to the emergency room occur each year in the U.S., and the majority happen to those under the age of 18,” said ISVA president Alex Andrich, OD, FCOVD. Authors of one study found that 24.4 percent of all pediatric eye injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments were related to sports and recreation.

“In the blink of an eye, an athlete can fall victim to a catastrophic eye injury that can affect his/her vision and eye health for years to come,” warned Dr. Andrich. “As eyecare professionals, it is our responsibility to educate our patients that no matter their age or skill level, wearing proper protective sports eyewear is as important as putting on other protective gear such as helmets and pads.”

More than 90 percent of sports- and recreation-related eye injuries can be prevented by using appropriate eye and facial protection, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Everyday dresswear eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses don’t offer adequate protection to guard against potential eye injuries and can actually make an injury worse,” explained ISVA advisory board member Jennifer Stewart, OD. “Although eye protection can't prevent every injury, the use of proper eye protection has helped to reduce the number and severity of eye injuries.”

Protect. Prevent. Play. includes information about types of sports related eye trauma, what to do (and not do) following an eye injury, along with important information about selecting the proper protective eyewear for the sport(s) you play. This patient education resource can be found on the ISVA website at https://www.sportsvision.pro/athletes/protectpreventplay/, along with a downloadable PDF practitioners can post on their websites or print for distribution in their offices.

“ISVA and Zyloware Eyewear share a common commitment to helping reduce the risk of traumatic vision and head-related injuries through education about protective devices and equipment,” said Zyloware Eyewear co-CEO/COO James Shyer. “Our Shaq Eye Gear Protector Collection is compliant with the newly published ASTM International standards for prescription and plano protective sport eyewear and is tested and approved by an accredited independent testing laboratory.”

When recommending sports protective eyewear, eyecare professionals should make sure the appropriate ASTM standard designation for the sport an athlete plays is on the product, according to optical engineer Dale Pfriem, president, ICS Laboratories, Brunswick, Ohio, and chairman of ASTM Subcommittee F08.57 on Eye Safety for Sports.

“Eye injury risk is related to the particular type of sport you play,” he said. “Protective sports eyewear should be designed and manufactured to meet or exceed applicable US (ASTM) impact protection standards. Each sport has a specific ASTM standard, which prescribes specific impact testing to best determine the eyewear’s ability to prevent an ocular injury in consideration of the unique elements of play and equipment associated with a particular sport.”

“It is encouraging to see the standards for eye protection keep pace with the latest advancements in different rules, equipment and styles of play for specific sports,” remarked Dr. Andrich. “This will better enable eyecare practitioners to make sure their athletes have the proper protective eyewear for the sport(s) they play.”