As the fall sports season starts to arrive, it is important to remember that proper eye protection is necessary to avoid sports related eye injuries. With over 25,000 people seeking treatment for sports related eye injuries each year, it is a prevalent problem that can almost always be prevented with eye protection.
Eye injuries occur most frequently in basketball, ice hockey, racquet sports, baseball, soccer, boxing, martial arts, water sports and softball, but they can occur in many other sports as well. Some sports like boxing and full contact martial arts have an inherent risk of serious eye injuries even when precautions are taken.
With hockey, racquet sports, and baseball, a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield can be worn in order to prevent eye injuries. Hockey face masks that are worn for eye protection should be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council.
Protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be used for sports like basketball, field hockey, soccer, and others. The eyewear should meet the requirements set by the American Society of Testing and Materials.
Those who already have an injury in one eye should strongly consider the risks of participating in sports that could potentially injure the healthy eye. Extra precaution should be made to prevent injuries, including wearing protective eyewear at all times.
In general, any sport or activity involving projectiles or potential contact near the face has the risk of an eye injury. For example, fishing is another common cause of eye injuries, and wearing protective eyewear is often advisable.
If you receive an eye injury, seek immediate attention from a certified professional as quickly as possible or go to the emergency room immediately, as delayed medical attention can result in permanent vision loss. Contact Eye Michigan at (248) 221-1022. Click here to learn more about our expert ophthalmologists and practice.