Do you or a loved one play sports? Are you aware of the importance of wearing eye protection while playing sports?
Every year there are thousands of sports-related eye injuries in the United States. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if the proper eye protection was worn.
To educate people about the importance of eye health, April is sports eye safety month. It is important to understand what types of protection exist and how to safely protect your eyes. Keep reading to learn more about why eye safety month exists!
What are the most common sports that cause injury while playing them?
There are many sports that can cause injury. Some of them include baseball, softball, soccer, cycling and air/paintball guns.
Softball/baseball are the top sports that people get eye injuries from. No matter what age, eye protection is important.
Aren’t glasses enough protection?
No, glasses are not good eye protection while playing sports. Glasses can break, fall off, or move around your face.
If you or a loved one play a contact sport, glasses aren’t a good idea. You should wear contact lenses and then protective eyewear over them.
If you don’t want to wear contacts, you can get goggles that go over your glasses and protect them and your eyes.
If you play a water sport, contact lenses aren’t a good idea. They can fall out or move around in your eyes.
Also, if you swim or play water polo, contact lenses should never be worn in a chlorinated pool. Chlorine damages contact lenses.
What should I look for in protective eyewear?
If you play a contact sport like basketball, tennis, racquetball, or soccer, look for protective eyewear made of shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. Goggles and eyewear made out of this material won’t shatter in your eye if you get hit in the face.
If you play ice hockey, lacrosse, or football, wear your helmet. Helmets with a wire shield or polycarbonate face masks are best. They allow you to see while still protecting your eyes.
When picking out any type of protective eyewear, confirm that it meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) requirements.
Will my protective eyewear last forever?
No, but it can last for a long time. If you notice that your eyewear is damaged or yellowed, it’s time to replace it.
It will not be as effective if it becomes broken or suffers any damage. It is important to replace your eyewear when you notice these things.
Patients that don’t wear proper protective eyewear can experience a range of injuries. Some injuries are minor like a small scratch on your cornea or a bruise.
Some injuries can threaten your vision. Vision threatening injuries could be retinal detachment or bleeding.
If you or your child play a sport, talk with your doctor about what kind of protective eyewear they need to wear. Knowing what kind of protective eyewear to wear is the best defense for preventing eye injuries.
Have more questions about how to keep your eyes safe when playing sports? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Hillsboro, OR now!