Although protective eye gear may not look all that cool when you’re in action on the court or in the field, it often times gets the job done when it comes to shielding those precious eyes from harm’s way.
When it comes to safety in sports, most wouldn’t think twice about wearing a helmet to cushion their head or putting on enough pads and braces to support the bones and the joints. Athletes of all sorts take extra caution to prevent the onset of bumps, bruises, and other unnecessary injuries—so why not do the exact same thing to hinder a scratched cornea, a fractured eye socket, or in more serious cases, a loss of vision?
Aches and broken bones more often than not will heal over time, but any serious eye injury can be detrimentally disabling. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting ready for your next big game.
The Scoop on Sports Eye Injuries
An alarming 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year, according to Prevent Blindness. Even non-contact sports such as badminton sometimes can present inherent dangers to the eyes, which is why hospital emergency rooms treat more than 40,000 eye injuries annually caused in some way or the other by sports.
Most of these inquires, however, can be easily prevented with the use of proper safety goggles such as lensed polycarbonate protectors, or by wearing professionally approved helmets and face shields. It is also important to remember that regular glasses do not and will not provide enough protection for the eyes, since protective eyewear, which is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, is ten times more impact resistant and does not reduce vision.
Types of Eye Protection for Sports
In order to reduce the risks of hazards such as out-of-control balls, flying equipment, and unwanted pokes or jabs from other players’ protective eyewear should be made a regular part of any sports uniform.
There are numerous types of protective eyewear available on the market with various lenses each with various thicknesses depending on specific activities or special eye conditions. Those with only one functional eye should wear sports eye protectors under their sport face mask (such as a football helmet) for added protection.
Be sure, though, that for ultimate impact resistance, the sports goggles or glasses used are approved by ASTM International and adhere to all sports standards. Sturdy glasses or sunglasses with impact-resistant polycarbonate frames should be used for lower-impact sports such as cycling and running to help protect the eyes.
The Best for Each Sport
If you’re having trouble picking and choosing which exact protective gear to make use of, review the list of sports below to help you choose the best options for protecting your eyes while engaged in each sport:
- Badminton (sports goggles)
- Baseball (batting: face guard attached to helmet; fielding: sports goggles)
- Basketball (sports goggles)
- Cycling (cycling eyewear)
- Fencing (full face cage)
- Field hockey (goalie: face mask; others: sports goggles)
- Football (face shield attached to helmet)
- Handball (sports goggles)
- Ice hockey (helmet with full face protection)
- Lacrosse — men (helmet and full face protection)
- Lacrosse — women (minimum: sports goggles; recommended: helmet and full face protection)
- Racquetball (sports goggles)
- Shooting sports (shooting glasses)
- Soccer (sports goggles, eye guards)
- Squash (sports goggles)
- Street hockey (goalie: full face cage; others: sports goggles)
- Swimming (swim goggles recommended)
- Tennis — doubles and singles (sports goggles)
- Water polo (swim goggles recommended)
The weather is warming up and everything from baseball spring training to basketball March Madness are in full swing. Stay active this season while keeping those eyes free from harm.
For more ways to protect your vision or to schedule a consultation to help lead towards clearer sight when engaged in sports, contact Laser for Eyes today. You only have one pair of eyes and our goal is to help keep you happy and it healthy!