Protective gear is used while playing sports to protect the teeth, arms, head, elbows, knees, and groin, but the eyes are often ignored. More than 100,000 injuries happen every year due to sports.
Importance of eye safety
Sports-related eye injuries are one of the leading causes of blindness in children. According to the National Eye Institute, almost 90 percent of the eye injuries sustained while playing sports could have been avoided if sports goggles had been used.
Sports goggles should be worn for any sport where you can get hit with a ball, a bat, or a body part. The most devastating eye injuries are from high-velocity missiles, such as in paintball, baseball, golf, tennis, and badminton. Even Nerf gun battles at home have caused devastating eye injuries with permanent loss of vision to our patients.
Keep an eye on your children
It is up to us, as coaches, referees, and parents, to make sure our children participate safely in sports, with the right equipment, supervision, and eye protection. Boys between the ages of 10 and 17 are most likely to sustain a sports-related eye injury. These include corneal abrasion (painful scratch on the front surface of the eye), traumatic iritis (inflammation of the colored part of the eye), hyphema (blood in the front of the eye) cataract (the clear lens inside the eye becomes opaque), retinal bleeding or detachment, and even permanent blindness.
Choose the perfect eye safety gear
Although many sports require helmets, these are designed to protect the brain, not necessarily the eyes. Sports goggles are needed when there are no helmets, or when sticks, clubs, or balls might get past the helmet/face guard and damage the eyes. Some people erroneously use regular glasses or sunglasses, not understanding that these do not meet standards for protection, and thus can cause even more damage.
We suggest sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses. Your child could also wear a polycarbonate face mask inside a helmet, which not only protects the eyes but the entire face as well.
Our optical department has a full selection of sports goggles that meet all the standards for safety in a wide variety of styles and colors. We can make them prescription, tinted or transitions (magic lenses that turn dark in the sun but are clear when you play indoors). We also carry prescription skiing goggles, but bring your helmet so we can check the fit!
You do not need an appointment to pick out your sports goggles. Our optical department is open M-F 8:30am-4:30pm and Sat 8:30am to 1:30pm.
Wishing you a healthy sports season full of fun!