While the games are known as a time of peaceful competition, it can also be a time for gnarly injuries, and the eyes are no exception! Here’s some of the Olympic eye injuries that have made headline news:
Playing any form of racket sports without eye protection can be pretty risky, and the smaller the ball, the easier it can fit in the socket of your eye, which is why any optometrist would highly recommend goggles. The worst case I’ve heard is Badminton, even though it can be argued that a shuttlecock travels pretty slow, it left Olympian Shon
Seung-mo of South Korea partially sighted in one eye.
In this year’s games, Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech
Republic (pictured above and left) got a tennis ball to the eye, which according to USA Today and tennis.com, fractured an orbital bone. This is what optometrists call a blowout fracture. The eye muscle gets caught in the fracture sight, which is usually the bottom of the eye socket. This results in double vision when looking up, along with swelling, bleeding and crazy pain. Let’s all hope Andrea’s eye recovers fully ❤
While tiny flying objects can be pretty bad, let’s not rule out massive blunt objects bouncing straight towards your face. Delle Donne of Team USA (pictured right) was benched after a basketball struck her right eye during a warm up, resulting in swelling and blurred vision. A blow out fracture is also a risk in this case, and this could also cause a tear in the retina. But it sounds like she is on the road to recovery and is prepared to play in upcoming matches.
Basically anything that involves that Green Pool
So… the pool was turned the colour of the Brazilian flag as a result of a hydrogen peroxide accident… Now the athletes have reported their eyes are stinging. This is caused by a chemical reaction between the acidity of the hydrogen peroxide and the surface of the eyes. The good news is that when acid comes into contact with the eye, a buffer is formed which prevents further penetration… this means its damage is somewhat limited.
The peroxide has also reportedly caused “organic compounds” to grow in the pool, which could create problems for any athletes wearing contact lenses. Some microbes are associated with a painful and sight threatening eye infection called microbial keratitis, which is linked specifically to swimming pools and poor hygiene.
However, eye injuries can be overcome to achieve Olympic dreams. According to the USA Today, Jay Shi of Team USA (pictured below), has achieved Olympic success in spite of losing the vision of his right eye from an accident at the age of 9, and after years of practice with his left eye, he now competes in none other than shooting.