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Sports and Vision - Looking after your Eye Safety

It’s easy to see why playing sports has such a hold on people, but enthusiasm for playing sports can be a double-edged sword: In the excitement of playing, you can ignore some fundamental safety factors, many of which can threaten your eyesight. Eye Safety is critically important but so easily neglected – so make sure you’re aware of safety measures for sports!

First, let’s consider where the threats lie. Sporting equipment—such as golf-balls, cricket-balls, hockey pucks—is often thrown, kicked or struck at high speeds. Remarkably, experts suggest that up to 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries could be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear.

Quality Equipment for the Eyes

However, standard prescription lenses aren’t up to the task of protecting your eyes from sports-related injuries. Protective eyewear should be shatter-resistant and made from a high-grade polycarbonate. Such goggles and special frames can be fitted with prescription lenses and can even be designed with venting or anti-fog capabilities. Make sure that any specialized eyewear is custom-fitted to your face.

Young people’s developing eyes need to be a central concern. Parents should encourage sporting leagues to have a protective eyewear policy in place, and if not, they should ensure that their children are individually outfitted with protective eyewear. Some sports, such as hockey, should be played only with a full protective faceguard in place, to protect not only the eyes, but also all of the bones of the face. Batsmen in cricketl should always be required to wear helmets with the full safety earflaps, as well as goggles to spare the face and eyes from thrown-ball disasters.

Peak Performance (and Safe Eyes too)

Some young athletes might feel that protective eyewear will interfere with performance, but today’s technology can deliver eye-saving equipment that won’t impact field achievements in the least. The best sporting eyewear has ultra-secure lenses and eye-guard cushioning around the eyebrows and nose to ensure that any impact won’t result in cuts or abrasions.

The list of potential eye injuries that can occur with sports is shocking — orbital fractures, ruptured eyeballs, detached retinas, or even simple black eyes. Then there are penetrating injuries, where punctures in and around the eye can happen. And the sun itself can cause UV damage to the eyes, a hazard for outdoor athletes of every kind.

Luckily, most of those fears (and their related injuries) can be contained by simple measures, like wearing high-quality, impact-resistant eye protection.

Keep your eyes open for potential trouble on the field and have fun!