Playing sport is a great way to socialize, have fun, relax and get fit. It is proven that playing sports boosts creativity and confidence. So far it sounds great, but what do we do about those nasty eye injuries that can sometimes happen by accident. Proper protection is the right way to go, even though we may look a little funny and get those annoying jokes from our team mates.
There are 40 000 sport related eye injuries. Out of them, 90 percent could have been avoided if proper eye protection was used. On the down side, only 14 percent of children wear eye protection while playing sports.
Types of Sport
Sports are categorized in three groups depending on the amount of risk that can happen to your eye. There is low risk, high risk and extreme. In low risk are sports which do not have body contact and do not use balls, sticks, bats etc. These are swimming, gymnastics, skiing and cycling. High risk sports are baseball, basketball, hockey, football, lacrosse, tennis, water polo and fencing. These use balls and sticks, but aren’t that dangerous when it comes to contact with other play mates. On the other hand, extreme risk sports are boxing, wrestling and types of martial arts. These are full of unpredictable contacts and punches.
If you have a certain prescription for your eyes and you wear glasses or contact lenses it is best to consult with your optometrist so you can find the best solution for your eye protection. There is special eye wear protection for people who use contacts or glasses.
Otherwise you should buy the regular safety glasses, goggles and eye guards. The safety eye wear is usually made of polycarbonate (a type of plastic material) It is impact-resistant and absorbs UV light. Because it is made out of plastic it has 8 times more strength than other materials.
Some sports also require helmets, safety shields and face cages. These are also a great addition when it comes to protecting your eyes when playing sports.
There are 3 most common eye injuries that happen while we play sports. Blunt trauma, UV radiation and penetrating injuries.
The first one is when your eye is hit by something. It can be a ball, racket or even a fist or foot. You can have the bone under your eye broken, or the actual eyeball. Also blunt trauma can result in a detached retina as well.
Penetrating injury is when something cuts a part of your eye. This can happen if your eyeglasses break or if you get scratched by a fingernail, fishing hook or other sport equipment. They cut can be deep or mild.
Sunlight is not something we should mess with, so protective sun wear is a must if you are doing sports on a sunny day or on a high mountain peak. The most dangerous hours are from 10 am to 2 pm.