You play sports to have fun, but there is also an increased risk for injury. Every year, sports-related eye injuries affect many people across the world.
Many of these injuries cause permanent vision loss, yet most are easily avoidable. The best way to protect your eyes from injury during sports is to wear proper eye protection.
Keep reading to learn more about how to protect athletes during Sports Eye Safety Month!
Sports Eye Safety Month
April is a good time of year to reevaluate your eye safety and protection. As the temperatures rise, you are inclined to participate in the warm weather activities you’ve been missing since the new year.
If you’re in an active community with so much to do right outside your door, you want to do everything you can to preserve your sight.
There are thousands of eye-related injuries treated in the ER every year. If everyone wears the proper protective eyewear, almost all these injuries can be prevented.
If you wear glasses and think they’ll protect your eyes during impact, you’re risking your vision. Regular glasses do not offer protection and can break on impact, causing additional injury.
Every sport has a different level of risk. It’s best always to choose the proper protective eyewear for the level of risk and intensity of the sport.
The sports with the highest risk of eye injury use a projectile, like basketball. Besides the actual basketball, fingers, hands, and elbows can cause eye injury.
Any forceful contact with the eye can cause many different types of injury, including a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment is considered a medical emergency and needs to be treated right away to ensure the vision is preserved.
Forceful contact can also cause hemorrhaging or other types of injuries that can threaten the vision. You can avoid all of these outcomes by wearing protective eyewear made with polycarbonate lenses.
Sports safety glasses made with polycarbonate lenses are also the best choice if you play racquet sports, soccer, and field hockey.
Baseball or Softball
Another sport that uses a projectile and can damage your eyes and vision is baseball and softball. Protective eyewear is also recommended for these sports.
It is also important to utilize a face shield for extra protection in youth baseball.
Other sports prone to eye injury include sports that use airsoft rifles and pellet guns. The impact and penetration of projectiles are the biggest threat to eye safety.
These types of projectiles go beyond ordinary sports balls and include any pellets used in the sport of airsoft. It is essential to wear protective eyewear when participating in these types of sports.
Ice hockey is another sport that leads to injury, although players typically wear protective gear. The aggressive nature of the game combined with flying pucks, skates to the face, and stick pokes make eye protection necessary.
Choose a helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. Look for masks approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association.
Combat sports pose a significant risk, not by the number of injuries but by the severity. Boxing and full-contact martial arts are high-risk activities that can lead to severe eye injuries.
Due to the nature of the sport, there is no adequate eye protection for boxing.
Spectator Eye Protection
Even if you don’t play but sit on the sidelines, spectators at games can often experience eye injuries due to foul balls, flying bats, and even players falling into the crowd. Be aware at all times and keep your eyes on the game.
Want to learn more about how you can protect your eyes during Sports Eye Safety Month? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Hillsboro, OR, today!