August is Children’s Eye Health Month. Today we are talking about eye safety and sports. This topic can spread beyond our children even into our adult life.
Various types of injuries can occur while playing sports, such as strained muscles or ligaments, but many of the most serious injuries are eye-related.
Athletes wear helmets to protect their heads, and pads and braces to protect their bones and joints. But what do players do to prevent the possibility of permanent vision loss, a scratched cornea or a fractured eye socket? Broken bones and bruises will heal, but a serious eye injury could prevent you from participating in your favorite sport for the rest of your life.
Sports-related Eye Injuries
The following are the three most common types of eye injuries associated with sports accidents:
- Blunt trauma occurs when something hits your eye. A common example of this injury is a black eye or bruising of the eye and eyelid. Blunt traumas cause the majority of sports-related eye injuries.
- Penetrating injuries occur when something cuts into your eye. This type of injury can happen when another person’s fingernail scratches your eye. This type of injury is not very common.
- Radiation injuries are caused by exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. They often occur in sports such as snow skiing or snowboarding, water-skiing and other water-related sports.
Eye Gear Guidelines
Prescription sunglasses, regular sunglasses and occupational safety glasses do not provide adequate protection to your eyes while participating in sports. It is recommended you invest in eye guards that fit securely and comfortably. The following guidelines can help you find eye guards that are right for you:
- Purchase eye guards at a sports or optical store to be sure they have been tested for sports use.
- Ask your eye care professional to fit you with prescription eye guards if you have prescription glasses.
- Be sure your eye guards contain the correct lenses and that they are secure or pop outward, away from the eye.
By following these steps, you can protect your eyes from injury and continue to play the sports you love