Every year, more than 100,000 people suffer sports-related eye injuries. Almost 13,000 of these injuries lead to permanent loss of vision.
April is Sports Eye Safety Month, as observed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Shoreline Vision joins the AAO in providing athletes, coaches, and parents sight-saving tips. Keep reading to learn more!
Sport-Related Eye Injuries
Eye injuries related to sports may include corneal abrasions, a fractured eye socket, or severe, vision-threatening lacerations. For instance:
- Flying debris can get into your eye and damage the cornea.
- If a piece of sports equipment forcefully hits your eye, it can result in blunt trauma. The impact can affect the bones around your eye and even damage your vision.
Whether a sport has a high or low risk of eye injury, it can still cause harm if you aren’t wearing the appropriate eye protection. The good news is, you can avoid most sports-related eye injuries by putting on the correct type of protective eyewear.
- Purchase well-fitted, sport-specific protection eyewear, like masks and polycarbonate lenses that meet ASTM (the American Society of Testing Materials) requirements. Make sure to wear them.
- Wear protective eyewear fitted with tinted polycarbonate lenses when playing sports such as soccer, basketball, and field hockey to protect your eyes and minimize the glare from the sun.
- It’s crucial to see an eye doctor immediately if you sustain an eye injury to prevent extensive or irreversible damage.
- Those who’ve had a previous eye injury, or functionally one-eyed athletes, shouldn’t participate in martial arts or boxing due to the increased risk of sustaining another injury that can potentially lead to blindness.
- Ensure your protective eyewear fits perfectly. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Also, it should be well padded along the bridge of your nose to prevent it from injuring the skin.
- During sports like football and hockey, put on a face mask with a shatterproof shield.
- Whenever sports eye protection is yellowed due to age or becomes damaged, replace them. When they reach this point, they will no longer offer sufficient protection.
- If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, you still need to put on the recommended sports eyewear since corrective eyewear doesn’t offer protection.
- If you’re pretty active, you might want to think about getting LASIK. This can help reduce your dependence on contacts or glasses when playing sports.
- This is the perfect time to schedule your annual eye exam with Shoreline Vision. Detecting vision problems early on gives you the best chance to receive treatment when you need it and preserve your vision. One of our eye doctors can also help you select appropriate safety eyewear for your sport of choice.
Protect Your Vision from Sport-Related Injuries
Although you can prevent eye injuries by using the correct protective eyewear and education, accidents still happen. Schedule an appointment at Shoreline Vision in Norton Shores, MI, today.