Sports-Related Eye Injuries

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April was Sports Eye Safety Month. Sports-related eye injuries can cost you your vision, and most are preventable. Whether you play organized sports, like to play less formally, eye protection is a must. Team and contact sports are not the only types of sports that pose a significant risk. According to the U.S. Eye Injury Registry, fishing causes the most sports-related eye injuries.

Facts and Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

  • 90% of serious eye injures can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear.
  • Regular eye glasses do not serve as protective eyewear because they can shatter and actually cause injuries. Of course, contact lenses offer no protection from sports-related injuries.
  • Protective eyewear and face shields should be made of polycarbonate. It is strong, lightweight, and shatterproof.
  • Always choose protective eyewear and helmets that meet the standards of a reputable organization such as the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
  • The risk of eye injury varies according to the type of sport you play. The highest risk of serious and blinding eye injury comes with boxing, wrestling and full-contact martial arts. There is no protective eyewear which can protect your eye in boxing, but thumbless boxing gloves are believed to reduce eye injuries.
  • Sports-related eye injuries are most common in baseball, basketball, and racquet sports.
  • Balls, hockey pucks, bats, and racquets can strike the eye with tremendous force.
  • Sports eye injuries can also be the result of a finger or elbow to the eye.