September is Sports Eye Safety Month, which means that we are focusing on keeping our vision healthy and our eyes protected. It’s estimated that over 40,000 eye injuries related to sports occur every year, and that a whopping 90 percent of these injuries are totally preventable. That’s why we are promoting the awareness of sports eye safety and encouraging athletes everywhere to take the necessary measures to keep their eyes out of harm’s way. To learn more about how you can protect your eyes and prevent damage to your vision, read on below for some more information about sports and eye damage.
High Risk Sports
Certain sports have a greater chance of causing an eye injury. These include paintball, basketball, and racquetball. Balls in these sports travel extremely fast and the players are often in close quarters with them, which makes it more likely that they could be struck in or around the eye.
Moderate Risk Sports
These sports have relatively fast-moving balls, but there is usually a more open field of play that affords you more time to get out of harm’s way more easily. Moderate risk sports include tennis, soccer, and golf. It can still be devastating if you get hit in the eye with one of these balls, but the chances of it happening are significantly lower.
Low Risk Sports
Low risk sports for eye injury are sports that do not include the use of balls, projectiles, or any sort of aggressive play. Such sports include swimming and cycling.
Safe sports have the lowest risk of eye injury and include activities such as gymnastics and track and field.
How to Protect Your Eyes
The best thing that you can do to protect your eyes in any sporting event is to invest in protective eyewear. Glasses based on different sports are relatively easy to find at any sporting goods store and can be found for very reasonable prices. The prices are even more worth it when you consider the potential costs of treatment or even surgery that results from a mishap.
You want to make sure that your eyewear fits snugly and comfortably and that it meets the standards of the American Society of Testing Materials. Glass eyewear is not safe to wear when sporting. In fact, it can make things even worse for you than no protection as the glass can shatter and cause even more severe damage to your eyes. You should always choose protective eyewear that is made of strong, shatterproof polycarbonate.
One thing many people don’t take into consideration is the damage that can be sustained from the sun. You don’t need to be hit with a ball in order to have an eye injury while playing sports. If you participate in any outdoor activities during the day, you should find shatterproof sunglasses that can block out UVA and UVB sun rays. These can go a long way in preventing cataracts and ocular surface cancer, and will help make it easier for you to play your game.
To learn more about proper eye protection, contact St. Lucy’s Vision Center today. We are committed to finding what works for you and keeping your eyes safe!