Sports Eye Injuries
Every year, hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 40,000
victims of sports eye injuries. All professional and recreational athletes
participating in eye-hazardous sports need to wear eye protection. To help
prevent sports eye injuries, protective polycarbonate eyewear should be worn
whether or not prescription eyewear is needed.
The sports that cause the most eye injuries are basketball,
baseball and racket sports, but any sport where something flies at the eye is
considered hazardous. Unbreakable glasses, goggles or facemasks are required
when there is a potential for eye injury.
Polycarbonate lenses are unbreakable and make excellent protection for
Helmets with eye shields are recommended for football and
other contact sports. Many sports, such as baseball, hockey and men's lacrosse
require a helmet with polycarbonate face mask or wire shield. Face guards can
be worn over glasses, and are used primarily for football, ice hockey and
similar high-risk sports. Some sports at the national level, such as hockey,
have established standards for eye protection.
Goggles or sports glasses protect eyes while playing
basketball, racquet sports, handball, and soccer. These goggles should be made
of polycarbonate, which is 20 times stronger than ordinary eyeglass material.
Prescription eyewear used during sports should be made from polycarbonate.
For high-speed sports such as skiing, wear special frames
sturdy enough to protect the eyes from any impact. Wear ultraviolet absorbing
goggles or sunglasses while skiing to protect the eyes from glare, ultraviolet
rays and exposure to weather.
Boxing presents a high risk for eye injury, and
unfortunately, there is no adequate protection available.
Contact lenses are not a form of protective eyewear.
Contact lens wearers require additional protection when participating in
People with only one eye should carefully consider the
risks of contact sports. Wearing
adequate eye protection is essential for people with only one eye.