Preventing Eye Injuries in Sports

baseball eye injury

It is easy to see how eye injuries can occur in sports
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Participating in sports can be a lot of fun, but there are also risks that need to be address so that the fun doesn’t turn to trauma. Thousands of eye injuries occur as a result of sports each year and the sad truth is many of them are preventable with the proper equipment.

Any sport with high speed projectiles can be a danger zone, but the #1 riskiest sport seems to be baseball, causing the most eye injuries of any sport, with basketball and racquet sports close behind. So learn all you can about preventing sports injuries and get all the protective gear you need to have fun and be safe.

Check below for eye safety recommendations for:

  • Boxing
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Basketball
  • Racquet Sports

Boxing Eye Safety

The sport might seem like it was designed just to cause eye injuries. There is extremely high risk of injury to eyes, resulting in vision loss and other impairments. Goggles are typically not allowed and so there is little protection available in the sport. It is recommended that while sparring in a non-tournament setting that protective goggles be worn if possible. Getting knocked in the head can certainly lead to seeing black spots and boxing is highly discouraged by eye care professionals.

Baseball Eye Safety

The best bet for baseball is a helmet with some sort of mask to prevent contact. Polycarbonate or wire framework both do the job. If this is not possible, the next best option is protective goggles with polycarbonate lenses. The greatest danger is for those up to bat so be sure to suit up before you step to the plate.

Hockey Eye Safety

Skip the thoughts that a hockey mask isn’t “cool” or isn’t comfortable. What is even less comfortable is taking a slap shot to the face at 100 mph. Not only will you have broken bones, but the potential for eye injury is very high. Not to mention the risk of taking a stick in the eye which can happen very easily.

A full polycarbonate face mask is the best option as it will protect fully against all dangers. Next best is a wire mask which must be small enough not to let stick ends through. A distant third place is the half visor which provides limited protection.

Lacrosse Eye Safety

Lacrosse is a fast paced game and has many of the safe dangers and equipment as hockey. Since the sticks in lacrosse are different from hockey, a wire mask will provide maximum protection, just as well as a full polycarbonate one.

Basketball Eye Safety

Eyewear with protective lenses are becoming more and more popular on the court as people realize the dangers of basketball and the risk to their eyes. A ball to the face or an elbow in the eye are two great ways to end up with an injury and impaired vision. A good pair of goggles held in place with a behind the head strap will significantly reduce your chance of injury while shooting hoops.

Racquet Sports Eye Safety

While protective goggles are fairly common place on squash and racquetball courts, they are less common among tennis players. While the risk of eye injury in these sports is significantly higher, it is still possible to receive an injury on the tennis court. The close quarters, hard, small ball and fast pace of squash and racquetball almost demand that eye protection be worn. A ball or racquet could easy hit you in the face with a lot of force. Polycarbonate lenses in secure goggles are recommended.

Be Safe, Be Smart, Don’t See Spots

One injury is all it takes to cause serious vision impairment for the rest of your life. Having fun and being safe go hand in hand. Always wear the proper protection while playing sports and look for equipment certified by the governing body of the sport along with an organization like ASTM. Seeing black spots after an injury is common and may be the result of a retinal tear which requires immediate attention. If you do receive an injury to your eye or surrounding area, be sure to get immediate medical attention and get tested by your ophthalmologist right away, seemingly minor injuries can result in big problems.

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