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.