Lots of people participate in sporting activities in their spare time, but don’t fully realize the importance of protecting their eyes from potential harm. Nevertheless, many sports come with a certain degree of risk, especially to the delicate tissues of the eyes. Whether you are taking part in a team sport like baseball or hockey, or you are heading out for a solo sporting pursuit like running, cycling, or climbing, wearing the right protective eyewear can significantly reduce the risk that you’ll suffer an injury that could affect your eyes and vision.
Not only that, but some protective eyewear can even enhance your visual performance which could have a positive effect on your performance in the sports that you enjoy.
How at Risk of an Eye Injury During Sports Activities am I?
You may be surprised to learn that as many as 40,000 visits to emergency rooms in the United States each year are the result of an eye injury that occurred during a sporting activity. While some of these injuries may be minor, many can be much more serious and have an impact on your vision. You are most at risk of an eye injury if you take part in a sport that involves speed and moving objects.
For example, a baseball could be pitched anywhere from 60-106 mph. When a hard object collides with any part of your body at such speeds, it’s going to do some real damage – especially when it’s a fairly soft part of your body like your eye. Nevertheless, contact with balls or rackets isn’t the only cause of eye injuries in sports. Human contact collision, flying dust, dirt, or debris in the eyes, and even severe sunburn to the eyes can occur during sports.
What is Protective Eyewear for Sports and How Do I Know What Protective Eyewear I Should be Using?
Protective eyewear for sports is designed specifically to offer the maximum level of safety for people who are taking part in leisure activities where their eyes could be at risk. Both amateur and professional athletes can benefit and should opt to protect their eyes in this way. Depending on your chosen sport, you’ll probably find that one of the key characteristics of the protective sports eyewear you choose is impact resistance. Most lenses are made from polycarbonate – a material that is highly resistant to even the strongest of impacts, meaning it won’t shatter and potentially damage your eyes.
Protective sports eyewear lenses also usually have in-built UV protection, which is something that is especially important for people whose sports take place outdoors. UV light doesn’t only damage our skin if we don’t use protection, but it can also harm the delicate cells of the eyes. Any damage is accumulative, meaning that it will get worse over time unless you use lenses with UV protection. It’s especially important if your chosen sport is one where you are at high altitudes where UV exposure is greater, or you take part in water activities where glare on the water could cause significant damage to your eyes.
The actual design of the frames used in sports eyewear is tailored to specific activities too. For example, wraparound styles mold closely to the shape of the face, allowing for little to no penetration of UV light or foreign objects around the sides.
Your eye doctor in Wichita Falls TX at Clarke EyeCare Center will be able to advise you which type of protective sports eyewear you would benefit from and why. This could include certain styles, sizes, lens colors, or varieties depending on the type of sport you participate in.
What if I Need Prescription Lenses?
If you usually wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, you will still need to use these, regardless of your protective eyewear. In some cases, it is even possible to get your prescription lenses incorporated into your protective eyewear. For example, you can now get prescription goggles suitable for swimming. You can choose from generic types that incorporate basic lens power, or for optimal performance, you can choose some that have your specific prescription lenses built into them. Ask your eye doctor what your options are.
Learn more about protective eyewear options for sports, contact Clarke Eyecare Center in Wichita Falls, TX at (940) 905-0700 to book an appointment.