Are you taking the necessary precautions to make sure your eyes stay unharmed while playing sports? According to the National Eye Institute, every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury. Eye injuries can be a result of anything from a scratch caused by another player’s finger to potentially threatening injuries such as a ball hitting the eye. The most common sports related eye injuries are:
- Eye infections
- Inflamed iris
- Blunt trauma (physical trauma caused by impact or injury around the eyes)
- Swollen or detached retinas (happens when light-sensitive lining of the back of the eye is affected)
- Traumatic cataract (caused due to blunt or penetrating ocular trauma
- Corneal abrasions (scratches on the surface of the eye)
- Orbital fracture (broken bones around the eyes)
Depending on the severity of the situation, some of these injuries can also lead to permanent loss of vision. Different kinds of sports pose different kinds of risks to your eyes. However, studies have shown that more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented through the use of appropriate protective eyewear. A broken bone may keep you out of the game for months together. So imagine the extent to which an impaired vision might affect your life, sports or otherwise. That’s why it is imperative for sports players to be more aware of the need for protective eye gear.
Sports specific eye gear is now widely available for a variety of games ranging from the mainstream sports like basketball, football, hockey, cricket, as well as lacrosse, water polo, racquetball, skiing and even golf!
To ensure your eyes are always protected from the impact of balls that go astray, flying equipment, foreign matter or other players’ body parts, always buy gear that is best suited to your sport. Mentioned below are some examples of sports with the relevant protective eye gear:
- Baseball – a sturdy polycarbonate face guard, paired with goggles or eye guards
- Basketball – Goggles
- Soccer- Eye guards
- Football- Eye guards and a full face guard
- Hockey- A mask made of polycarbonate material or wire
- Tennis or racquetball- Goggles
While purchasing safety eyewear, also bear in mind the following tips:
- Choose lenses or glasses made from polycarbonate materials as they are shatter-proof and offer the highest level of protection. They can withstand the impact of a ball or other projectile traveling at the rate of 90 miles per hour.
- Get a professional’s help while choosing eye guards and all related products for best results.
- Look for eye gear with cushioning along your eyebrows and the edge of your nose, so it doesn’t cut or scratch your face.
- Get eye gear with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
Apart from these measures, to ensure the general well-being of your eyes, eat foods rich in Vitamins, essential Omega-3 fatty acids, and Bioflavonoids containing foods such as carrots, kale, spinach, etc. And last but not the least, always ensure that you get your eyes checked regularly.