Now that Spring is here and COVID 19 restrictions are winding down, people are eager to get out and play. We want to remind you to help prevent your patients from getting a preventable eye injury.

Eye doctors urge eye protection not only for professional sports but for recreational play as well. It is estimated that over 30,000 eye injuries happen every year. Some of these injuries end up being permanent injuries such as retinal detachment. How are you educating your patients about eye protection while playing sports?

Eye-Injury Sports

The three main sports that account for almost half of the injuries coming into the emergency room are basketball (which has a very high rate of eye injuries), baseball, and air/paintball guns. Many sports involve objects traveling up to 60 miles per hour (sometimes even faster!). But flying objects aren’t the only hazard. There are plenty of eye injuries that include pokes and jabs by fingers and elbows, especially in sports where players are in close contact with each other.

Ways to Prevent Eye Injuries

Here are some tips for both the professional athlete and the Little League star to stay safe:

• Athletes should wear sports eye protection that meets requirements set by the organizations they are playing for.

• Parents should make sure that children are wearing eye protection. Most often, those who sustain sports-related eye injuries are 18 years old or younger.

• Eye protection may no longer provide adequate protection so they should be updated when they start to show wear. When the eye protection starts to wear, it may not provide adequate protection so it is essential that they be replaced immediately.

• Athletes who wear contacts or glasses should also wear appropriate protective eyewear. There are sports goggles that can get prescription lenses so your patient doesn’t have to wear their contacts or glasses while playing their favorite sport.

• Professional athletes should also wear sports goggles that meet national standards.

It’s important to keep in mind that sports goggles need to be properly fitted to ensure great results and are comfortable to wear during play.