According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt each year by sports-related eye injuries, and about 13,500 of these injuries result in permanent vision loss.
Sports eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports. However, the vast majority of these eye injuries can be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Here are a few tips:
- Regular glasses don’t provide enough protection. Wear proper safety goggles (lensed polycarbonate protectors).
- Make sure your eye guard or sports protective eyewear is labeled “ASTM F803 approved.” This means it has been performance tested by the American Society of Testing and Materials to ensure it provides the highest level of protection.
- If you suffer an eye injury, have an eye disease or have had eye surgery, talk to your eye doctor about when you can safely return to your sport and any precautions you should take.
If you receive an eye injury, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to fully assess the damage to your eye and ensure prompt treatment. You can learn more about ocular trauma here.