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  • Writer's pictureBright Eyes Family Vision

Play it Safe 🏀🎾⚾

Do you have any athletes in your family? Are you making eye protection a priority during practice and games? The AAO reports an estimated 100,000 sports-related eye injuries each year, with about 13,500 of these injuries resulting in permanent vision loss. Luckily, the majority of these injuries can be prevented simply by wearing eye protection! 

We often wear protection for other parts of our bodies while playing sports - helmets, knee/elbow pads, mouth guards, and gloves are all common safety gear. Protective eyewear is just as important. It may take some getting used to, but you will be able to concentrate on your performance without worrying about permanent damage to your vision!

Types of Injuries

The most common types of eye injuries that happen during sports are:

  • blunt trauma, occurring from something hitting you in the eye

  • corneal abrasions, occurring when the eye is scratched (ex: getting poked in the eye with a finger)

  • penetrating injuries, when something cuts your eye

  • radiation injury from exposure to too much sunlight without protection

These injuries can range in severity; a good portion of corneal abrasions can heal on their own, while penetrating injuries often result in very serious eye damage. 

Injury is possible with most, if not all, sports, but the sports that lead to the most eye injuries in the US are basketball, baseball, and softball. This is then followed by airsoft rifles, pellet guns, racquetball, and hockey. 

Youth Sports

Children are especially at risk for sports injuries. It is estimated that more than 30,000 children sustain serious sports-related eye injuries every year, and the majority of the eye injuries among kids aged 11-14 happen while they are playing sports. 

Set the standard as early as possible - that way, your kids will adjust quickly to eye protection being a part of their sportswear. If you play too, it is even more important for you to use sports glasses to model what safe play looks like to your children.

What Lenses to Get

The best glasses to get for sports protection have polycarbonate lenses. These lenses are made of impact-resistant material, which means they are less likely to crack, chip, or shatter if they’re hit. They also typically include UV protection for those who play sports outdoors.

Polycarbonate lenses are thin and lightweight, so you can focus on the game and avoid discomfort! Polycarbonate can protect you whether you need to wear goggles, face shields, or eyeglasses. If you or anyone in your family plays sports, let us know at your next appointment and we can discuss what options are best for your situation!

Playing sports should be a fun, worry-free time for everyone. Keep it that way by protecting your and your family’s eyes.

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