The Vision Council Teams Up with Duke University Blue Devils' Rep to Promote Vision Protection

The Vision Council Teams Up with Duke University Blue Devils' Rep to Promote Vision Protection

Consumer Messaging Encourages Protective Eyewear to Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Alexandria, VA (September 6, 2013) - Nearly 25 million U.S. children will participate in a competitive school sports program this fall, and every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the U.S. will treat a sports-related eye injury. While 42,000 sports-related eye injuries require emergency care each year, The Vision Council recognizes that many can be prevented with protective eyewear. In observance of Sports Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, Jon Scheyer, special assistant for the Duke University Blue Devils men's basketball team, has joined The Vision Council to encourage parents, coaches and athletes alike to practice eye protection and engage in healthy behaviors.

Scheyer is all too familiar with the risks that sports can pose to your eyes and vision, having experienced a traumatic eye injury firsthand. An eye poke in the midst of a summer league game caused optic nerve damage to Scheyer's right eye and ultimately resulted in partial blindness. The injury required an intense recovery period that severely altered his professional athletic path.

The incident made me realize how important proper sports eye protection can be, especially during high impact activities like basketball, said Scheyer. Now, as a coach and mentor to other collegiate athletes, I am very serious about their health and safety. I hope that my team can learn from my accident and proactively protect their bodies.

Yesterday, The Vision Council and Scheyer issued a joint release to consumer press, in an effort to educate the public about the risks of sports-related eye injuries and the preventative options in eyewear. In the release, The Vision Council encourages consumers to talk to their eyecare providers about vision protection options such as goggles and safety glasses with polycarbonate plastic lenses.

Unfortunately, several organized sports do not require safety eyewear, which means the decision to wear goggles, shields, or other protection will ultimately be a choice made by the parent or athlete, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. We feel strongly that individuals need to understand their potential risks in order to make educated decisions about their eyewear needs. With support from role models like Scheyer, we hope to make sports safety a priority and reduce the number of preventable eye injury incidents.

The Vision Council has developed several resources, including a quick reference guide to Protecting Young Eyes from Sports and Recreation-related Eye Injuries, to help consumers learn more about the importance of eye protection and the options in safety eyewear. Throughout the year, The Vision Council also works with members of its Vision Protection Committee to provide eyecare providers with complimentary marketing materials and key strategies (e.g. Inquire, Inform, Introduce) to match their patients' activities with the appropriate eyewear. The Vision Protection Committee is dedicated to creating awareness for vision protection among eyecare providers and their patients. In 2012, members of the committee published articles on specific aspects of vision protection, including sports eyewear, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), international standards and the importance of fog-free lenses. For more information about The Vision Council's Vision Protection Committee, please contact Tom Goeltz at tjgoeltz@comcast.net.

To learn more about The Vision Council's current consumer campaigns and outreach efforts, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org.

About The Vision Council
Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry through education, advocacy and consumer outreach. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, The Vision Council serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses.