Sports Eye Safety Month: How to Protect Your Eyes

April 6th, 2021

April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, and you can celebrate by learning how to protect your eyes against common sports injuries. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, thousands of athletes suffer permanent vision loss due to eye injuries on the field, in the pitch or on the court. The good news is that protective eyewear prevents up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries.

To support Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, Swagel Wootton would like to remind you to don protective eyewear to safeguard your eyes from injuries. Protective eyewear such as safety goggles, glasses and shields are often customized for particular sports. If you wear eyeglasses, you can also purchase prescription goggles and safety glasses. Our eye care specialists in Mesa and Chandler can also provide advice on which brands and styles to choose to best protect your eyes.

What Sports Are Most Dangerous for Eye Health?

Swinging clubs, high-speed balls and on-field aggression are most likely to cause eye injuries. Specifically, baseball, basketball, martial arts, ice hockey, lacrosse and racquetball pose a high potential risk for eye injuries. Other sports that pose a moderate risk include soccer, tennis and golf. Meanwhile, track and field, gymnastics, cycling and swimming include a low risk of eye injuries.

When you visit your Swagel Wootton eye doctor for annual eye exams, talk to them about the sports you play. This is a great way to ensure that you can see clearly and confidently on and off the court.

Most Common Eye Injuries Related to Sports

Here are the most common sports-related eye injuries:

  • Blunt Eye Trauma – a baseball, basketball or football can do a lot of damage when it slams into your eye. Everybody can misjudge the speed of a flying object and get caught up in the moment. To ensure that you don’t suffer permanent eye damage, wear safety goggles, helmets with face shields and any other protective gear specific to your sport.
  • Penetrating Eye Injuries – Broken glasses, flying debris and even another player’s gear can penetrate your eye and result in permanent loss of vision.
  • Corneal Abrasion – Diving for home plate can result in a heroic play, but the dust and debris can blow back into your eyes, scratching the cornea. In basketball and other close contact sports, another player’s fingernail can also cause corneal abrasions. Protective eye gear can help you play hard without risking your vision.
  • Radiation Eye Injury – UV solar rays are very harmful to your vision. From surfing to skiing, sun glare can damage your eyesight. Talk to your eye doctor about safety glasses that filter out UV rays and help ensure you see every bump in the snow and every rising ocean wave.
  • Chemical Burn – Did you know the spray paint and powders that mark the boundaries on the field contain chemicals that can irritate your eyes or even cause blindness? Wash your eye with cool water or saline solution to help remove these harmful substances.

4 Tips for Choosing Protective Eyewear

Ask your eye care specialists in Mesa and Chandler about the ideal protective eyewear to safeguard your vision. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your goggles or safety glasses fit well.
  • Look for the ASTM label from the American Society of Testing Materials (F803 Approved).
  • Choose polycarbonate (shatter-resistant, high-impact resistant) lenses.
  • Make sure your eye gear doesn’t restrict your vision.

Seek Emergency Care for Sports-Related Eye Injuries

If you sustain an eye injury while playing sports, go to the nearest emergency room immediately. If you notice that your eyes are irritated, burn or hurt following a game or practice, visit Swagel Wootton Eye Institute to ensure that you don’t have a potentially dangerous eye injury.

We are a full-service eye institute and can handle the vision needs of your entire family. Contact us today to make an appointment for an eye exam or cataract and LASIK eye surgery in Phoenix.