Sports and Eye Safety: Importance of Protective Eyewear

Sports and Eye Safety: Importance of Protective Eyewear

Sports and Eye Safety: Importance of Protective Eyewear

Participating in sports provides many benefits. These include exercise, competition, teamwork, and fun. Sports also carry risks, especially for the eyes. All athletes, coaches, and parents should make eye safety a top priority. Protective eyewear is essential for avoiding severe and permanent eye damage.

Eye Injuries: A Common Hazard

Eye injuries are prevalent in sports. Injuries can range from minor irritation and bruises to serious trauma. Some can cause long-term vision problems or blindness. Both contact sports and noncontact sports carry significant risks. Even tennis, racquetball, and water polo can be dangerous for the eyes.

Common eye injuries include:

  • Scratches on the cornea
  • Broken eye sockets
  • Burst eyeballs
  • Detached retinas

Blunt force is often the culprit via balls, bats, sticks, elbows, or fists. Balls and pucks moving fast can cause a lot of damage in an instant. Even the sun, wind, and dirt can harm vision during outdoor sports. Protective eyewear provides a shield against all these hazards.


Eyewear for All Sports


To keep your eyes safe, wear goggles and specialized eyewear for your sport and position. There are sport-specific goggles for football, hockey, racquet sports, basketball, baseball, and more. In baseball and softball, batters must wear helmets with polycarbonate facemasks to protect their eyes and face from pitched balls and line drives. 

Basketball players can wear goggles with strong lenses and vented frames to protect against fingers, elbows, and balls. Racquet sports like tennis, squash, and badminton require impact-resistant eyewear. Full coverage wrap-around eyewear offers the best protection in most sports.

Goalies in hockey and lacrosse are highly vulnerable to eye injuries. They must wear a specialized helmet and face mask combination. Football players, especially linemen, must wear goggles or a helmet with a shield to protect against pokes and jabs. 

Soccer, field hockey, and water polo players should consider sport goggles. Even volleyball and ping pong players should wear protective goggles. For sports like jogging or biking, sunglasses are advisable to protect the eyes from the sun, wind, and dirt. Use safety glasses made from strong plastic or impact-resistant lenses for the best protection.

Children Need Extra Protection


Children have less developed reflexes and reaction time compared to adults. Their shorter stature also places their eyes closer to sticks, balls, elbows, and other players. Developing eyes and vision are also more susceptible to damage. 

For these reasons, kids must wear appropriate protective eyewear for their sport. Beginning at a young age, they can get accustomed to playing their sport with goggles or safety glasses, so they become second nature over time. 

Polycarbonate lenses are shatterproof and scratch-resistant for optimal injury prevention and visual clarity. Making sure equipment fits appropriately enhances both safety and performance.

Preventing Injuries Protects Vision


Often, no early symptoms or warning signs indicate that an eye injury is about to occur. Once an injury happens, it may be too late. Wearing protective eyewear can prevent severe and permanent damage. It is a simple safety precaution. An ounce of prevention outweighs a pound of cure regarding eye health. 

Bottom Line


Severe eye problems can end athletic careers. Some professional athletes have sustained career-changing and life-altering eye injuries. Protective eyewear helps athletes avoid lost playing time, expensive surgeries, or disability. 

Athletes work too hard and sacrifice too much to risk losing it all due to eyewear negligence. To protect your eyes and avoid injuries while playing a sport, wear the right goggles or glasses. 

For more eye safety tips, visit SeePort Optometry at our office in North Port, Florida. Call (941) 876-4400 to schedule an appointment today.

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