Child playing soccer and avoiding facial injuries

Whether you’re a Premier League fan, watch every MLS game, or a parent of a club player, there’s an air of excitement that comes around soccer. Children and adults love playing what’s dubbed “the beautiful game,” and it is an excellent way to stay in shape and socialize. However, like all sports, there are a few injuries to be aware of as you’re playing or spectating, especially to the face.

Broken nose

Even the best players can get hit in the face by a soccer ball, errant elbow or opponent’s head. Goalkeepers may be more prone to this given their role in deflecting the ball, but any player making direct facial contact with the ball is at risk of receiving a broken or bloody nose. Nasal injuries such as these, aside from being painful, can make it hard to breathe or perform to the best of your abilities. Should this happen, a timely office visit should be scheduled with an ENT physician to see the extent of the damage along with any potential surgical corrections. The consequences of potential concussive trauma may need to be addressed separately.

Inhalant allergy

The beautiful game coincides with the beautiful seasons of spring and fall, which also means allergies affecting athlete and spectators alike. Watery eyes, nasal congestion and airway inflammation can impair any athletic performance. Dr. Michael Sicard, a CEENTA otolaryngologist who practices out of our Matthews office, explains how you can treat your symptoms. “Allergy avoidance, systemic and topical allergy medications or immunotherapy by traditional injection or sublingual drops can provide significant relief. “

Black eye

Aside from nasal injuries, facial contact with the ball or accidental collisions could also affect your eyes. On the lower end of the injury list is a black eye, which is a bruising of the soft tissue under and around the eye. Swelling will most likely occur immediately, followed by tenderness of the surrounding area and the prominent black bruising. This can be treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory medications, ice application, and rest with the head elevated. However, light sensitivity and blurry vision are symptoms that require medical attention from an ophthalmologist to ensure that the injury is not more severe.

Corneal abrasion

Despite being spread out on the field, physical contact between players can occur during key moments near the box. Players looking to assert their position during corner kicks can accidentally poke each other in the eyes, resulting in a corneal abrasion. Also known as a corneal scratch, this injury affects the outer layer of the eye and can cause redness, irritation, and blurry vision. You or your child’s eye physician will recommend antibiotic eye drops to fend off an infection along with an eye patch to prevent further irritation.

If you or your child find yourselves dealing with an eye, ear, nose, or throat injury while on the pitch, turn to the experts at CEENTA. Our team of eye and ENT specialists can examine your injury and recommend treatment options that bring you back into the game. Schedule your appointments with CEENTA online, through myCEENTAchart, or by calling 704-295-3000.


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