The Importance Of Sports Eye Safety

Wearing the correct sports safety eyewear can prevent your eyes from suffering an injury. In this article, we will discuss the importance of sports eye safety.

Our eyes are just as likely to be injured as any other part of our body and there are many different circumstances in which they can become injured, including when playing sport. Estimates suggest that 40,000 visits to the emergency room each year in the U.S. are a result of sports injuries affecting the eyes. The vast majority of these could be avoided simply by wearing the correct sports safety eyewear.

There are plenty of sports that involve the use of fast-moving objects – think baseball, tennis, golf, and more. What you may not realize is that these objects move incredibly quickly, often between 60 and a massive 120mph! Unsurprisingly, this means that if they hit any part of your body, it will hurt! You could also experience some damage to the area that it has come into contact with. In the case of your body, this might only be some soft tissue damage and bruising. However, if the object comes into contact with your eye you could be looking at much more serious repercussions, including a shattered eye socket or detached retina. Object-contact injuries aren’t the only sort sustained in sports either. Sometimes they can occur when you come into contact with another player, or when you are moving at speed yourself and some debris flies into your unprotected eyes. This is a common issue in sports like cycling, running, and skiing. Wearing the correct sports safety eyewear can prevent your eyes from suffering from damage unnecessarily, and in some cases, even enhance your ability to see clearly and perform well in your chosen sport.  

Sports safety eyewear is eyewear that is specifically designed to protect the wearer's eyes against damage that could occur whilst participating in their chosen sport. Sports safety eyewear is in the form of either glasses or goggles that are usually made from polycarbonate – an incredibly tough substance that is both impact-resistant and has inbuilt ultraviolet protection that will keep your eyes safe from damage and the harmful effects of UV rays which can cause a range of problems with eye health and vision. Most also have padding or cushioning along the brow and bridge of the nose which will make them more comfortable to wear and will prevent them from cutting your skin if you are unfortunate enough to experience an impact to the face.It is important to note that, for sports use, polycarbonate lenses must be used with protectors that meet or exceed the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International – a global standards development organization. Each sport has a specific ASTM standard, which helps to ensure that you choose the appropriate safety eyewear for your sport. 

In addition to selecting the right ASTM for your chosen sport, there are some other considerations that you will need to make when it comes to choosing the right sports safety eyewear.  

  1. Which style will work best for you? Wraparound style glasses or goggles provide the greatest protection against damage, and particularly against debris that may otherwise get into your eyes. 
  2. Do you need prescription lenses? If you ordinarily need to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, you may need safety eyewear that has your prescription lenses incorporated into them so that you can see clearly. 
  3. Would you benefit from photochromic lenses? These clever lenses adapt to the light in the surrounding environment and change accordingly, so that you can see clearly in all lighting conditions. For example, photochromic lenses are transparent when indoors but will darken when you move into a bright environment, preventing the need for changing eyewear in different weathers. This is particularly beneficial if you are participating in a sport like cycling when you don’t want to have to stop to change glasses. 
  4. Would you benefit from performance tints? These tints have been proven to improve performance in specific lighting conditions and environments. For example, yellow and orange tints can filter out blue light and improve the wearer’s focus. This makes them an ideal choice for activities like skiing, snowboarding, cycling, and tennis. Your eye doctor will be able to explain more to you about the different options for performance tints and help you to find one which may be beneficial for you. 

If you would like more advice about sports eye safety, or to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal requirements, please contact our team.