According to Prevent Blindness America, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries a year; and this doesn’t include eye injuries that don’t require an emergency room visit. Any sport with frequent body contact or flying objects can pose potential risk for eye injury.
When playing sports, prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and even safety glasses do not provide adequate protection. To reduce the risk of eye damage and even improve performance, an athlete needs the right kind of eyewear, like goggles or eye guards.
Lenses for sports eyewear are usually made of polycarbonate, an impact-resistant lens material that protects eyes from fast-moving objects like racquetballs. Polycarbonate also has ultraviolet protection, which is extremely helpful when playing sports outdoors, as well as scratch-resistant coating for added durability.
Sport frames are also made of polycarbonate or another highly impact-resistant plastic. Frames can also be contoured to wrap around the face, which provides added protection for contact lens wearers.
Racquetball, tennis and badminton: With balls moving at 60 miles an hour or faster, the potential for eye injury is fairly high. Protective goggles are necessary to protect against a misjudged ball or even an opponent’s racket.
Basketball: Since players often com in close contact with one another, there’s a high risk of eyes getting poked or jabbed. Eye goggles can protect against stray elbows and fingers.
Biking, hang-gliding and sailing: Wraparound-style goggles help to keep out dust and wind.
Hockey: The risk of eye injury for hockey players is four times higher for players who don’t wear protective eyewear. A stray pick or stick can cause retinal tears and detachments. This makes a polycarbonate mask a necessity.
Paintball: Paintball players are at very high risk of eye injury without full facial protection. High velocity paintballs can cause detached retinas and ruptured eyeballs, which is why helmets are essential.
It’s extremely important that sports goggles are somewhat flexible in width. If the frames are too large or too tight, the amount of protection is compromised. The right frames will also help ensure full peripheral vision, to anticipate potential dangers.
With 90% of sports-related eye injuries preventable with the proper use of sports eyewear, it’s no surprise that sports goggles are so common now.
If you have further questions about choosing the right eyewear to protect your eyes, please contact our eye care professionals at 877-871-1684.
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