Participating in a sport is thrilling and challenging, but it’s also potentially dangerous. Over 30,000 Americans are treated for sports-related eye injuries in a single year. Fortunately, as many as 90 percent of those eye injuries are preventable, which is where protective eyewear comes in.
Not all sports are equally dangerous to the eyes. In order, the biggest culprits are paintball, shooting air guns, racket sports, and soccer. Eyewear is something athletes of all sports should include in their protective gear, but especially those who play these sports. Other sports where eye safety is a particular concern are lacrosse, archery, swimming, football, hockey, and snowboarding or skiing.
Specialized face masks or goggles are available for many contact sports. If not in yours, then polycarbonate goggles are often a good option. They fit over glasses, and the material is much stronger than normal plastic and resists shattering when struck. You can sometimes even get prescription polycarbonate goggles so that you don’t have to worry about your more fragile glasses at all while you play!
With sports like water polo, things get a little tricky. A lot of feet, hands, and elbows fly when everyone’s swimming after that ball, which means that protective goggles can become a hazard themselves. If struck at the wrong angle, they could get knocked into the eyes, causing even more damage. Be sure to follow USA Water Polo’s guidelines for protective goggles if you have a strong prescription and need them to see. Otherwise, playing without goggles may be safer.
If you want to learn more about eye protection for the sport you love, give us a call or stop by our practice, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you find the right protective eyewear to keep you playing at the top of your game. If you or a team member sustains an eye injury, get straight to an eye doctor or emergency room for treatment.