Published: Feb. 29, 2012
Updated: Feb. 29, 2012
Duke Eye Center’s Terry Kim, MD, recently spoke about the Duke Sports Vision Center for Excellence and the importance of protective eyewear for keeping eyes safe while playing sports.
Announcer: We’ve got a very special guest joining us up in the crow’s nest tonight as we get ready for today’s game. He’s Dr. Terry Kim. He’s the director of ophthalmology fellowship programs as well as the associate director of cornea and refractive surgery services over at the Duke Eye Center. Terry, thanks a lot for spending a few moments with us. I understand you have a new venture getting underway called Duke Sports Vision Center for Excellence. Can you tell us what that’s about?
Kim: Yeah, thanks for having me on, John. This idea really came about after the experience we had with Jon Scheyer, who as you know, suffered a pretty severe eye injury after leading our team to the national championship in 2010, while he was working out with the Miami Heat.
He got hit in the eye by a finger, suffered a very severe injury to his nerve and during the course of his diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, I think he saw something like 14 eye doctors in three different states -- six different states, excuse me.
So this brought to us the awareness that there are people like this -- athletes, and even military folks -- who suffer severe injuries that are in need of information, education, and to do this in one place where they can get their condition diagnosed and managed by all subspecialists in that facility without having to travel from place to place.
We’re hoping to do that and establish that at Duke Eye Center. We certainly have a first-class facility with first-class physicians who should be able to undertake this task.
We also have a great low vision rehabilitation services that can also do rehab training for these folks. And not only for folks who have eye injuries, but normal folks who perhaps want to enhance their vision.
Announcer: I know you’ve worked closely with Jon Scheyer and he has recovered enough to play professionally overseas in Israel. How is he doing after that eye injury?
Kim: I am happy to report that he is doing extremely well playing for Maccabi out in Tel Aviv, which is one of the elite teams in the elite leagues. He’s doing extremely well and adjusting well to his injury. I Skype him about every few weeks to keep in touch, so I’m happy to report that he is doing well and I think he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Announcer: When you think about getting poked in the eye, basically, while playing a sport, do you recommend younger players, like youth sports people, wearing protective eye wear when they play sports? How do you stand on that?
Kim: I think that’s a definite -- it’s underrecognized and understressed, I believe. If you look at eye injuries from sports, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that about 40,000 of these occur every year.
Kim: 40,000 per year. And the National Eye Institute says that about 90 percent of these can be prevented with protective eyewear. The thing is a lot of these injuries occur in kids. If you look at the most common sports, John, it’s basketball and baseball, followed by hockey and lacrosse. Stick sports and racquet sports. So protective eyewear I think is extremely important. We’re talking about kids who are young and have a bright future ahead of them; it can’t be overemphasized and that’s one of the messages we’re trying to get across. Jon Scheyer always wears his protective eyewear when you see him out on the court.
Announcer: Dr. Terry Kim of the Duke Eye Center is our guest here. And, Terry, before we let you go we mentioned the Duke Sports Vision Center for Excellence. Tell us about where it will be and how far along that project is.
Kim: It’s currently right now a virtual center, but we hope it’s going to be a physical center in our new Eye Center clinic building, which we are currently raising funds for. So for all the Eye Center fans that are out there, and for all the supporters of general eye care, we could really use your support right now.
Announcer: Dr. Kim, thanks for spending some time with us and thanks for illuminating us on that situation and good luck to you.
Kim: Thanks a lot for having me, John.