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September 20, 1976

Eye Injuries From Tennis Balls

Author Affiliations

University of Connecticut School of Medicine Hartford

JAMA. 1976;236(12):1355. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270130019017

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To the Editor.—  With the ever-increasing popularity of tennis and of eye injuries of the type described by Seelenfreund and Freilich (235:2723-2726,1976), I should like to share with the readers a seemingly obvious (but often forgotten) piece of advice given to me many years ago. When standing at the net waiting for your partner to serve, never, never turn around to see what the cause of delay is; for the very instant you turn around to look may be the moment your partner decides to unleash his powerful first serve—with disastrous results. The hazard is not hypothetical: it is real. If you cannot resist the urge to turn around, at least shield your face with the racket. Temporary impairment of visibility through racket strings is far preferable to permanent loss of vision in one eye.