Source: GMN Health
Thousands of sports-related injuries affect children and adults each year. >Prevent Blindness.org estimates that water and pool activities, followed by basketball and then baseball/softball account for more sports-related eye injuries than any other sports. Male athletes are twice as likely to suffer from sports-related eye injuries than female athletes, but all athletes should prioritize protecting their eyes during competition.
Protective eyewear can help prevent sports-related eye injuries. Many professional athletes don safety eyewear, a trend that has caught on in amateur athletics as well. Many sports feature fast-moving balls or other equipment that pose a potential risk for injury. Should balls strike the eye, considerable trauma can occur.
Choosing protective eyewear or sports goggles is an important safety step. Many types of protective eyewear can guard against the following conditions:
• Corneal abrasions: Damage to the front surface of the eye
• Blunt trauma: Damage that occurs when the eye is compressed through sudden impact.
• Penetrating injuries: Occurs when the eye is poked or foreign objects get pressed into the eye.This can cause long-term damage to vision.
• UV exposure: UV radiation can damage the cornea and other components of the eye, which can lead to cataracts, cancer, macular degeneration, or sunburn of the retina. It is best to work with an eye professional to find the right type of protective lenses for a particular sport. Sport goggles may be stronger than sports glasses at resisting impact. Polycarbonate lenses may be recommended for other sports. Eye centers can properly select and fit the eyewear so that it is comfortable for a child or an adult.Also, staff at such centers can recommend styles that will flatter the wearer’s face.Those who already wear prescription lenses often can have the prescription added to sports eyewear as well.
Eyewear retailers are great places to find sports eyewear, but sporting goods retailers also may have relationships with protective eyewear specialists or even have a kiosk in their stores.
For those shopping online, be sure to get recommendations on eyewear type and measure correctly for a perfect fit. For children, do not buy a size up to get another year out of the goggles or glasses — this can compromise the fit and level of protection. If you are concerned about buying online but your budget is tight, ask a brick-and-mortar store to price match an online retailer.