Two boys in eye protective gear with basketball

April 12, 2016

Sports Eye Safety Month: Know the proper protections to safeguard your eyes

Each year, more than 100,000 people are treated for sports-related eye injuries. According to the National Eye Institute, approximately 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss. Children are most at risk to eye injury in sports. While some sports carry a greater risk of eye injury than others, baseball is the leading cause of eye injuries in sports today.

A Winning Game Plan

With 90 percent of sports-related injuries in children considered preventable, parents and coaches play an important role in ensuring that athletes are suited up in the proper sports gear. Eye guard guidelines include buying eye guards at sports specialty or optical stores, or asking your eye doctor to fit you for prescription eye guards, if you wear prescription glasses. April is Sports Eye Safety Month, and a time of year when more families with children are participating in sports and recreational activities. It's also the perfect opportunity to make sure you understand the risks associated with any sport before allowing your child to be involved. Whether you're a parent, teacher or coach, be mindful of the risk to eye injuries and take necessary precautions to ensure your young athlete is suited up properly for the game, minimizing the risk of eye injuries.

Prevention Tips

Consult an eye doctor for recommendations on appropriate eyewear. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards. Your eye care provider can provide the correct protection for any sports activity. Protected eyewear lenses made of polycarbonate are recommended and tested for sports usage. These lenses provide 10 times more protection than other plastics. Be sure to check the packaging to see if the eye protector has been tested for sports use. Your eye care provider can also help you select a correct fit and style for any sport. Sports eye guards should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eye guards from cutting your skin.

Final Thoughts

Until you get used to wearing a pair of eye guards or other protective eyewear during sports activities, it may feel strange, but stick with it! It's a lot more comfortable than an eye injury! Wolfe Eye Clinic offers expertise on child eye safety and eye protection for children as it relates to sports safety. With multiple locations throughout Iowa, including Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Spencer and Waterloo, Wolfe Eye Clinic provides expert eye care and convenience to all Iowans during Sports Eye Safety Month and all year long!