March 31, 2021
Many people enjoy sports safely, however, there is always a degree of risk of injury, and while these can affect any part of the body, the eyes are particularly susceptible. Our eyes are extremely delicate, and it doesn’t take much to cause them harm. A fast-moving ball, collision injury, or even debris kicked up during your practice or game could potentially put your eyes at risk.
As many as 30,000 sports-related eye injuries require medical treatment in the United States every year, many of which could be prevented. Research estimates that up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries are preventable using the correct eye protection equipment.
Why Choosing The Right Sports Eyewear is Important
Regular glasses or goggles don’t have the strength and durability to protect the eyes from harm in the event of an injury. This is largely because most sports injuries involve significant force and/or speed that is too excessive for standard eyewear to withstand. And if you do wear incorrect eyewear and the force causes them to shatter, your injuries could be considerably worse. For example, a squash or tennis ball can travel at 140 miles per hour, so you can imagine how devastating the impact would be if one was to come into contact with your face or eyes.
How to Choose The Correct Protective Sports Eyewear
The best way to avoid a sports-related eye injury is to choose the right protective eyewear for the sport that you are participating in. Lenses that are used in sports eyewear are typically made of a special material called polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is impact-resistant, making it highly effective at remaining intact under even the greatest levels of force. It is also lightweight, preventing it from interfering with your performance, and has in-built ultraviolet protection which is crucial for outdoor sports. The frames are an important factor too. High-quality sports frames are created from impact-resistant material combined with rubber or silicone padding which helps protect your face in the event of an injury. Many athletes prefer to choose wraparound styles that provide additional protection against wind, dust, and other elements.
Treating a Sports-Related Eye Injury
While it can be tempting to try and treat a sports-related eye injury yourself at home, the truth is that our eyes are extremely delicate, and any sort of significant injury is best looked at by a professional.
If your injury involves dust or chemicals entering your eye, you can and should rinse your eye thoroughly at home before you visit your eye doctor. Use fresh, cool water and leave it running directly into an open or rapidly blinking eye for at least 20 minutes. Make sure the flow of water is adequate, but not too strong or this could cause further damage.
If a sharp object has pierced your eye, you feel sick or start to vomit following an eye injury or if blood or fluid is coming from your eye, you should proceed to the emergency room as quickly as possible.
If any of the following occur, call an emergency eye doctor for advice on how to proceed:
You have unexplained eye pain or vision loss
You believe you have a cut or slice to the surface of your eye
You believe something has gotten stuck in your eye or under your eyelid
You cannot move your eye, or you cannot open it
Something has hit your eye at high speed
You have any changes to your eyesight following an injury
For more information on protecting your eyes during sports, or what to do in the event of an eye injury, please contact our experienced eye care team at East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, WA at (253) 444- 2800 today!