the importance of optometry exams

Sports And Eye Injuries: What You Need To Know

While there are plenty of winter sports, the ideal time of year for people to participate in sports is spring and summer. Gardeners start planting, and athletes start playing. Participating in an active lifestyle is good, as it keeps the body healthy; however, it is important that the face and eyes are properly protected when playing sports, especially if they carry a risk of eye injury. Read on to learn more about the risk of eye injuries, the sports that carry the most risk, and what prevention measures can be taken to protect children.

Sports and Sports-Related Eye Injury Statistics

According to the National Eye Institute, there is a sports-related eye injury being treated in a United States emergency room every 13 minutes. The majority of sports-related eye injuries occur to children between the ages of 11 and 14.

Out of all sports, baseball is the one sport that is the most dangerous in terms of eye injuries for children ages 14 and under. For children between 15 and 24 years of age, basketball is the most dangerous sport. Though baseball and basketball appear to be the most dangerous for these age groups, softball, ice hockey, racquet sports, lacrosse, fencing, boxing, and paintball also have a high rate of eye injury.   

Ways To Protect Children from Sports-Related Eye Injuries

With eye injuries being the leading cause of blindness in children, it is important that the proper measures be taken to protect children's eyes when they are playing contact sports. In fact, protective eyewear can potentially prevent 90 percent of eye injuries in sports.

Safety glasses or sports goggles can be worn. It is ideal if the lenses are made from 3mm polycarbonate, which is available in prescription and non-prescription form. These polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant, even though they are the lightest and thinnest lenses available.

A helmet or face shield can also be worn while playing sports. Helmets can absorb the impact of a fast-moving object or even the collision with another player. A face shield can help to prevent penetrating injuries, such as abrasions and cuts. In some cases, it may be a good idea to wear the face shield with the helmet, depending on the sport that is being played.

If you need help choosing the right protective eyewear, reach out to your eye doctor to schedule an appointment for an eye exam and assistance in choosing the appropriate form of eyewear based on the sport that is being played.