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Each year, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt by sports-related eye injuries; about 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. Front Range Eye Physicians and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind you: wear the goggles!

Getting athletes of any age to wear protective eyewear is a challenge. Ophthalmologists hear all the reasons for not wearing eye protection: it’s cumbersome, it will impair peripheral vision, it will fog up. But sports goggles have vastly improved over the years.

Among the common sports-related eye injuries ophthalmologists routinely treat are corneal abrasions, bruising around the eye, retinal detachments, and internal bleeding.

Here are some safety tips for all athletes to practice:

  • Check and follow sport specific requirements and standards regarding eye protection
  • Consider replacing eyewear once yellowed or damaged to ensure the best protection
  • For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses
  • For snow or water sports, consider eyewear with UV protection to avoid sunburn or glare
  • Athletes who wear contacts or glasses should still wear eye protection; contacts and regular eyeglasses are not replacements for protective sports eyewear

For more information on eye health, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.