Today, sports eye-wear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet, or sticks from the major leagues to Little League. Fortunately, coaches, parents, and players now realize that wearing protective eyewear for sports pays off in several ways.
Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related.1 These injuries account for an estimated 100,000 physician visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million.
Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards designed for a particular sport.
Reference: Harrison, A., & Telander, D.G. (2002). Eye Injuries in the youth athlete: a case-based approach. Sports Medicine, 31(1), 33-40.
Read over our commonly asked questions below:
Are my everyday eyeglasses adequate?
- Prescription glasses, sunglasses, and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses don’t provide adequate protection for sports use.
What do I need?
- Lenses in sports eyewear are usually made of polycarbonate. It is an impact-resistant lens material, TEN TIMES MORE than other plastics this is why it works well to protect eyes from fast-moving objects.
- Polycarbonate lenses also have built-in ultraviolet (UV) protection and are coated to be scratch resistant — valuable properties for outdoor sports. See our PREVIOUS BLOG POST.
- Sports frames are constructed of highly impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, and most come with rubber padding to cushion the frame where it meets your head and the bridge of your nose.
- Sports styles are contoured, wrapping slightly around the face. This works well for outdoor sports such as biking, hang-gliding, and sailing.
Does everyone need protective eyewear? YES
- Youth sports leagues do not require the use of eye protection. Parents and coaches must insist that children wear safety glasses or goggles whenever they play.
- All children who play sports should use protective eyewear, not just those who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- For children who do wear glasses or contact lenses, most protective eyewear can be made to match their prescriptions.
- It is especially important for student-athletes who have vision in only one eye, a history of eye injury, or eye surgery to use protective eye-wear.
Parents and coaches play an important role in making sure young athletes protect their eyes and properly gear up for the game. Protective eye-wear should be part of any uniform because it plays such an important role in reducing sports-related eye injury.
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