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In badminton, you"re supposed to keep an eye on the shuttlecock, but not too closely. You shouldn"t let that speedy little devil pop you in the eye.
It"s a real danger, according to research published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Badminton is popular in China and Southeast Asia because of its accessibility and apparent low risk. But it may just be that you don"t see the risks coming.
A research team, led by Yu Jie and Liu Yi, both veteran doctor in Beijing Tongren Hospital"s ophthalmology department, found that about 70 percent of eye trauma in badminton is caused by the high-speed shuttlecock, with 30 percent from being hit by a partner"s racquet.
A hard, direct strike can result in ocular injuries such as hyphaema, pupil dilation, traumatic cataract and lens dislocation. In rare cases, severe retinal detachment can occur, it said.
The vast majority of eye injuries involve doubles players — most frequently players turning around just in time to be hit by their partner. It"s considered an improper move, but it"s common among amateurs, according to Yu Jie, associate senior doctor in Department of Ophthalmology of Beijing Tongren Hospital.
In addition, players in the forecourt risk being struck by their opponents.
"Many players don"t know that playing badminton can hurt their eyes, therefore they have little awareness of self-protection. In fact, badminton has been classified as a high-risk sport for ocular injury due to the small, dense shuttlecock that can travel at the highest speed among all ball-related sport," she explained.
A lack of professional guidance and failure to wear eye protective gear are the main factors leading to eye injuries, she recognized, citing research findings.
The survey of 85 patients found that about 70 percent of the injured and 82 percent of the instigators had not received badminton lessons from a professional.
Although 50 percent respondents said they knew of the high risk of an eye injury in badminton, none of them had taken any steps to protect themselves.
Based on the research, Yu advised badminton players to wear special protective eyewear, especially forecourt players in doubles.
Safety education and professional coaching are also necessary for beginners to prevent serious eye injuries, she said.
Yu suggested extra precautions or avoiding badminton altogether for those with severely impaired vision or only one functioning eye.
The research is regarded by experts as a meaningful step in China"s initiative to integrate sports and medicine. The initiative aims to join domestic mainstream sports and medical resources to promote public health through cooperation in the healthcare and sports sectors.
Qian Ye contributed to the story.parkrun wristband ukpersonalized baby id braceletpersonality bracelets and charmscheap wristbands for eventscustom rubber wristbands