Experts Convene to Discuss Eye Protection at Vision Summit

Experts Convene to Discuss Eye Protection at Vision Summit

NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire Speaks About Season-Ending Eye Injury

Washington, DC (June 1, 2009) – Over 2.5 million eye injuries occur each year; in the home, at work and during sports. Millions more are affected each year by the sun’s harmful UV rays. To address concerns about eye protection, the Better Vision Institute, an advisory board to The Vision Council comprised of ophthalmologists, opticians and optometrists, convened a special Vision Summit May 28-29, to review research and develop strategies to increase awareness about this issue.

“We know that 90 percent of eye injuries are avoidable if proper eye protection is worn,” said Tom Abbott, optician and chair of the Better Vision Institute. “By bringing together experts in the vision protection field we can draw on each others’ areas of expertise to really make a difference.”

The Better Vision Institute’s third annual Vision Summit brought together leading vision experts including researchers, practitioners and policy experts to examine the latest data on vision protection. The Summit addressed four key areas of vision protection: work, home, sports and UV. Attendees left the Summit with new tools, resources and contacts to help them in their efforts to increase awareness of eye protection in their communities.

Phoenix Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire also attended the Summit to share his recent personal experience with a season-ending sports-related eye injury. In late February, Stoudemire underwent surgery to repair a detached retina following an on-court incident. The injury and subsequent surgery ended the all-star’s season, which led Stoudemire to declare he will never again play basketball without protective eyewear.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if I had kept wearing protective eyewear, I would have prevented my eye injury,” said Stoudemire. “I am committed to wearing protective eyewear anytime I am on the court, and I encourage all athletes to do the same.”

Paul Berman, OD, was awarded the Summit’s Visionary Award for his dedication to sports protection. He is the team optometrist for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL and the founder and director of Special Olympics Opening Eyes, a program serving the visual needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

For more about the speakers and research being presented at the Better Vision Institute’s Vision Summit please visit http://www.bettervisioninstitute.org Additional information regarding eye protection can be found at www.thevisioncouncil.org.

The Better Vision Institute is a unique body that brings together the vision community's three professional disciplines - ophthalmology, optometry and opticianry. It provides the only forum in which these three professions can come together to address American's vision health. It is an independent, non-profit advisory board to The Vision Council, a non-profit trade organization dedicated to better vision care for all people.