Vision Center of Excellence: Shield your eyes for saftey: Accidents happen, but you can prevent most accidents from injuring your eyes by wearing eye protection.  Below are just a few reasons to shield your eyes for safety:  SHIELDS SAVE SIGHT Each year more than 2.5 million eye injuries occur & 50,000 people permanently lose part or all of their vision.  90% of all eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear.  Fit the gear to the job.  Polycarbonate eye gear is the best protection against flying debris and particles.  Splashguards are best for jobs with liquids.  For all on-duty activities, wear gear from APEL (Authorized Protective Eyewear List).

The Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) mission is to lead and advocate for programs and initiatives to improve vision health, optimize readiness and enhance quality of life for Service members and Veterans.

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Old Guard soldier taking a shot at EIB.

During the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) conflicts, eye injuries have accounted for approximately 15 percent of all battlefield traumas.

One slice of an MRI-type brain scan with various parts of the brain coded in different colors.

The DoD Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center notes the total number of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) visual disturbances was 37,376.

Two soldiers on a truck; one looking through binoculars and one looking through gun

In 2012, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts in Afghanistan caused 78 percent of all battle injuries. In Iraq, the same blasts caused 84 percent of all eye injuries.

Military eye professional giving exam to soildier.

The VA found that 2,593 enrolled Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) had disorders of the optic nerve and visual pathways related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Three service members standing next to each other, all wearing protective eyewear from the Approved Protective Eyewear list (APEL).

Serious combat eye trauma from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom was the second most common injury and trails only hearing loss.

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