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Avoiding Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Man getting hit in eye by basketball

Did you know? For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in water sports, basketball, football, and baseball/softball. Each year more than 25,000 sports-related eye injuries occur. Almost all of these injuries can be prevented. Protecting your eyes is necessary, no matter what sport you play or you age!

The following steps will help avoid sports eye injuries:

Wear proper safety goggles (lensed polycarbonate protectors) for racquet sports or basketball. Look for eyewear that is labeled as ASTM F803 approved, which has been performance tested to give you the highest levels of protection.


Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for youth baseball.

baseball helmet

hockey mask

Use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.


Know that regular glasses don’t provide enough protection.

protective goggles

Prevent Blindness America recommends that athletes wear sports eye guards when participating in sports. Prescription glasses, sunglasses and even occupational safety glasses do not provide adequate protection.

Eye injuries are common in the Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Football, and Hockey. So, it’s important to know what kind of protective eyewear is appropriate for each activity. Check out the Sports Eye Protection Factsheet from PreventBlindness.org.

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