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Nearly 30,000 people suffer sports-related eye injuries every year–and 90 percent of these ER visits could be avoided with protective eyewear. From youth leagues to the pros, players need to protect their eyes. The best defense against potentially blinding sports-related injuries (corneal abrasions, bruising around the eye, retinal detachments, internal bleeding) is wearing protective eyewear. 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. And if kids make good habits early, wearing protective eyewear will become as natural as buckling their seat belts.

Smart Eyecare to protect against eye damage

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
  • For basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey, wear protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses
  • For snow or water sports, wear eyewear with UV protection
  • 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.