Today, sports eye-wear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet or stick from the major leagues to Little League. Fortunately, coaches, parents and players now realize that wearing protective eye-wear 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.
of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear.1
Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards designed for a particular sport.
Read over our commonly asked questions below:
Are my every day 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.
- Sport 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 eye-wear? 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 eye-wear, not just those who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- For children who do wear glasses or contact lenses, most protective eye-wear can be made to match their prescriptions.
- It is especially important for student athletes who have vision in only one eye, 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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References 1. Harrison, A., & Telander, D.G. (2002). Eye Injuries in the youth athlete: a case-based approach. Sports Medicine, 31(1), 33-40.