Fore!!! Are you hitting the links, the gridiron or the court this spring? Let’s talk about one of the most important pieces of sports equipment you’ll need: eye protection.
Most of us have experienced a minor eye injury at one time or another, from an accidental finger poke to a whack from a high-speed ball. Most athletes fully recover, but according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, or AAO, approximately 13,500 people receive permanent vision loss every year from sports eye injuries. The real kicker is that roughly 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable with inexpensive eye protection.
Prepare for High-Risk Sports Activities
While an eye injury can happen at any time and in a variety of ways, there are certain activities that put you in greater peril of potentially site-stealing damage.
The greatest risk of injury occurs with contact sports like football, wrestling, ice hockey, or martial arts. However, ballgames and sports that involve projectiles are also risky—think baseball, basketball, archery, and tennis, for example. Why? Because these are sports in which an object or a body part is most likely to come in sharp contact with your delicate eyes.
The simplest way to stop those objects from causing injury is with a barrier designed specifically for that purpose. That means your prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses aren’t enough to protect you. In fact, they can raise your risk of damage: Glasses can shatter on impact, and contact lenses can trap dirt, debris and bacteria that can lead to scratches and infection.
How to Choose High-Quality Protective Eyewear
High-quality sports safety goggles are readily available at pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and medical supply stores for as little as $10 a pair.
- Look for the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) label or verbiage that states it is F803 approved.
- Buy shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses.
- Get eyewear that is appropriate for your sport and make sure it provides a full field of vision.
- Make sure eye protection is snug but not uncomfortably tight.
- If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, ask your ophthalmologist for prescription protective eyewear. Your doctor will know how to get you the best fit and the most reliable protection.
Finally, consider permanent vision correction through LASIK surgery. Better natural vision will not only improve your game, but that sharper eyesight will help you avoid trips, falls, projectiles and other dangerous situations that could cause a potentially blinding eye injury.
Lake Lazer Eye Center offers convenient and affordable payment plans for SoftTouch LASIK and the ZEISS SMILE procedure, and Dr. Khambati has helped thousands of Detroit LASIK patients and people from all over the world escape the restrictions of glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.