How Can I Protect My Eyes From Injuries During Sports Activities?

Playing sports comes with the risk of eye injuries. However, you can take steps to protect your vision while remaining active. This guide covers practical tips to shield your eyes from harm on the field, court, or rink.
Eyesight is precious. As an athlete, you rely on clear vision to track balls, see teammates, and navigate the terrain. Yet, eyes can be vulnerable during sports. Fast-moving objects, equipment, elbows, and other hazards can lead to painful injuries.
This does not mean that you should abandon the sports you love. You can continue enjoying activities while also preserving your eyesight. Follow these doctor-recommended strategies to protect your eyes from injuries during sports activities.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Wearing sports glasses or goggles is the simplest way to safeguard your eyes. Protective eyewear designed for athletics shields eyes from frontal impacts and peripheral hazards.
Choose eyewear made explicitly for your sport. You can use impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. Ensure frames and straps fit snugly and comfortably. Well-fitting eyewear stays put, avoiding irritation.
Full goggles give the most coverage, protecting from all angles. Wraparound glasses shield sides. Smaller styles like racquetball glasses primarily cover the front. Do not play with ordinary eyeglasses. Sports specs withstand force better. Prescription athletic eyewear allows proper vision correction during play.

Shield Eyes From the Sun

Bright sunlight can strain your eyes on the field. Ultraviolet rays boost the risk for conditions like cataracts. So, filter sunlight by wearing sunglasses off-court and tinted sports glasses during play.
Polarized lenses reduce sun glare that can distract and impair vision. Photochromic lenses darken automatically under UV rays. Anti-reflective coatings help reduce glare.

Use Caution With Contact Lenses

Contact lens wearers must take extra care. Contacts can increase injury risk and complicate treatment. If possible, remove contacts before play. Cushioned sports goggles feel more comfortable over bare eyes. If wearing contacts, use tight-fitting goggles to provide ample coverage.

Avoid Certain Sports and Positions

Some activities, like being near flying objects or equipment, can be extra risky for your eyes. Sports like boxing, ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse carry higher risk.

Within team sports, certain positions sustain more injuries. In baseball, players close to the batter, such as catchers and umpires, are at higher risk. Basketball players and goalies in soccer, hockey, and water polo are also vulnerable. If you play these sports, make eye protection nonnegotiable. Set an example by wearing protective eyewear.

Inspect Fields, Courts, and Equipment

Faulty gear and playing areas heighten injury risks. Regularly inspect fields and courts for dangers. Avoid bumpy areas, holes, and obstacles in the paths. Ensure sports equipment is in good condition. Replace old, warped sticks and use nets and posts designed to prevent recoil.
It is best to request protective screens around high-risk areas like dugouts. Also, report safety concerns to coaches or facility managers immediately. Take initiative to remove hazards when possible.

Learn First Aid for Eye Injuries

Despite precautions, mishaps can still happen. It is crucial to learn basic first aid for eye trauma. Treatments like rinsing eyes, using cold compresses, and covering both eyes expedite healing. Left untreated, eye damage can worsen. Seek medical care promptly after any significant eye injury. Ophthalmologists can assess eye issues and prevent permanent vision loss.

The Bottom Line

Do not gamble with your eyesight. Begin implementing these tips before the next game. Wearing proper sports eyewear reduces the risk of accidents. It’s also a good idea to encourage teammates, family members, and youth players to do the same. Athletes can keep playing sports their whole lives if they take smart precautions.
For more eye care tips, visit Abraham Eye Associates at our office in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Call (484) 209-0800 to request an appointment today.

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