Whether it’s an unfortunate bounce of the ball, or an inadvertent poke or jab in the eye, ocular injuries occur all the time in sports. Wearing the proper eye protection is an easy way to make sure you don’t get hurt while out on the court, field, or rink.
Eye injuries happen a lot with children’s sports, accounting for an estimated 100,000 visits to health care professionals every year. The right pair of goggles or glasses can go a long way in protecting your child’s eyes and long-term visual health.
Sports by Risk
Sports with the highest risk of eye injury are those that involve the use of sticks, balls, pucks, racquets, bats, or body-to-body contact. Statistically, the highest-risk sports include basketball, football, paintball, boxing, baseball, karate, tennis, rugby, and lacrosse.
What Are Common Eye Injuries?
Sports-related eye injuries usually fall into one of four categories: blunt-force, penetrating, radiation, and scratches to the eye, known as corneal abrasions.
Penetrating injuries occur as the result of something cutting or piercing the eye. If you or your child are playing sports while wearing glasses not meant for the purpose, a lens can shatter after an errant pitch or a hard tackle. This can cause serious penetration or cutting of the eye.
Blunt trauma injuries often occur in tennis or baseball, when a ball hits a player in the eye. When this happens, bones surrounding the eye can be broken, the eyeball can rupture or the retina could become detached. Any of these may threaten significant vision loss or even blindness in the affected eye.
Radiation injuries occur as a result of overexposure to radiation such as UV rays from the sun. This often happens during skiing or snowboarding.
Corneal abrasions can occur during any sport, often as a result of someone accidentally jabbing or scratching your eye when competing for a ball. These painful scrapes usually heal on their own, but may cause lasting vision problems and eye damage if they happen too often or are particularly deep.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Injuries
Different eye injuries will have different symptoms, but many of the common ones include:
- A decrease in clear vision
- Excessive watering of the affected eye
- Pain in and around the sight of injury
- A gritty feeling, or feeling like something is in your eye
- A “sunken” look around the affected eye
- Double or blurry vision
- Swelling in the face or eyelids
- Difficult with visual tracking
- Blood spots visible in the white part of the eye
What Type of Protective Eyewear Should I Choose?
If you’ve resisted wearing protective eyewear during sports because you’re concerned that you won’t see as well, you should know this: Today’s eye protection options are thin and lightweight, with an emphasis on maximizing your visual field while keeping your eyes safe.
Protection options such as goggles and face shields should be labeled “ASTM F803 approved” to make sure that they are up to the standards of the American Society of Testing Materials. Our Belmont eyewear team will make sure that your protective eyewear fits properly and will not fall off when you run or jump.
Looking for eye protection to keep you safe while playing your favorite sport? Come visit our eye doctors at Complete Eye Care or give us a call at 704-825-9002 today. Whether you need prescription or non-prescription protective lenses, we can help you find the perfect type of protective eyewear.