Three Ways to Keep Your Eyes Safe While Playing Sports
Eye-related injuries are extremely common on the field. Every year, an estimated 100,000 people experience eye-related injuries while playing sports. Of these injuries, around 13,500 results in permanent vision loss.
In support of Sports Eye Safety Month this April, the American Academy of Ophthalmology would like to remind all athletes and players to take precautions when playing your favorite games. The majority of sports-related eye injuries can be easily avoided by taking precautions, such as wearing proper eye protection. Just five minutes of preparation can save your vision for a lifetime.
Wearing Protective Gear for Eye Safety
Wearing protective eye gear can save your vision in the event of an injury. It’s recommended that players wear safety glasses while playing basketball, baseball, football, and most other contact sports – especially paintball and airsoft.
Your average pair of reading glasses or sunglasses does not provide adequate eye protection during sports. Athletes require sports eye guards tailored to eye protection. You can find a pair at a sports store or optical store.
Wear a Helmet While Playing Sports
There are many cases of complete vision loss that stem from head injuries. Even if the injury does not directly affect your eyes, vision loss may be a nasty side effect of a head bump. It’s important to wear a helmet while on the field to prevent blunt-force impacts.
If it makes sense to wear a helmet, consider purchasing one from a local sports store. Don’t worry about what people think – you’re protecting your eyesight.
Protect Against Dust and Sweat
Your eyes are sensitive. While protective glasses can protect you from significant trauma to the eye, you need to consider your forehead and hairline, too. While playing, you’re liable to sweat profusely. The dust and sweat from the field will eventually run down your face and into your eyes. Then, it can cause a loss of vision and irritation.
To protect against dust and sweat, consider wearing a sweatband. If you do get dust or sweat in your eyes, splash a bit of water in your face. After, use a saline solution to clear the residual dust.
What Eye Protection Is the Best for Each Sport
Every sport is unique. Some, like football, are more contact-oriented. Others, such as bicycling, are solo ventures. Both come with their own unique risks to your eyesight. You may want to consider purchasing proper safety equipment to protect your eyes for each sport.
- Baseball – Use a plastic or polycarbonate face guard and goggles or eye guards.
- Basketball – Goggles
- Soccer – Eye guards
- Football – Eye guards and full face guard
- Hockey – A mask designed of polycarbonate or wire material