Although some sports are more prone to causing eye injuries, such as tennis, all sports have the potential to harm your eyes if you don’t take the necessary precautions. There are thousands of sports-related eye injuries every year. Whether you wear contact lenses or glasses, there are ways to avoid injury.
Sport is one of the biggest causes of hospital admissions for serious eye injuries in the UK. It’s not surprising when you consider that most sports involve projectiles. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at the sport, accidents can still happen, which is why taking precautions is key to avoiding injury.
What sports cause eye injury?
Tens of thousands of eye injuries occur each year, but with the right precautions this can be avoided. Sports that are particularly prone to causing eye injury include:
Games that feature a ball of some kind are more likely to cause eye injuries. Squash is a sport well known for causing eye injuries, A report by Injuryprevention.bmj.com said:
“The small dimension of the squash court occupied by two people, swinging racquets and a small ball potentially travelling in excess of 200 km/hour, with the ability to penetrate the eye socket, contribute to a high risk of eye injury in this sport. Internationally, squash has been reported as either the first or second highest ranked sport associated with sports related eye injuries.”
Why is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month important?
Some of the most common eye injuries you can get while playing sport is a corneal abrasion from a foreign object entering the eye. Other potential injuries to the eye during sport include grass, dirt or sand getting into the eye, which can cause a scratched cornea. Other injuries you can sustain include:
- Orbital fracture (a break in one of the bones surrounding the eye)
- Subconjunctival haemorrhage (broken blood vessel in the eye)
- Eye swelling
- Cuts, scratches, or bruises on the eyelid
- Retinal detachment
Do glasses protect me during sport?
Regular eyeglasses and sunglasses are great for protecting your eyes from the sun, but they are not enough to protect your eyes, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states “Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection and in some cases can make an injury worse if they shatter.”
The good news is that protective eyewear can help you to avoid injury to the eyes while playing sports. You should wear eye protection that is sport-specific, such as sports safety goggles/wraparound frames that have impact-resistant (shatter-proof) polycarbonate lenses.
How can I avoid eye injury in sport?
Wearing eyewear designed to protect the eyes is the best way to prevent eye injury whilst playing sports. Many athletes protect their eyes whilst performing, some baseball and hockey players, for example, wear protective headgear with polycarbonate face masks or wire face shields. Brands such as O’Neill and Oakley specialise in eyewear for sports. Their sunglasses and glasses have incredibly durable frames made from lightweight, impact-resistant materials such as nylon composite (Oakley) and acetate (O’Neill).
Try O'Neill ONS Zepol 108P Matte Black/Grey
These fashionable yet practical sunglasses will see you through active pursuits like cycling. This stylish, wrap-around frame gives great coverage of the eye area. The sides wrap around the head for a secure fit, perfect for sport.