Hospital emergency rooms report treating more than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries every year. About 90 percent of these could be prevented through the use of protective eyewear.
The American Medical Association classifies sports as collision (football, rugby, hockey, lacrosse), contact (baseball, soccer, basketball, wrestling), noncontact (cross-country running, track, tennis, crew, swimming), and other (bowling, golf, archery, field events). Basketball, water sports, baseball, and racquet sports account for most injuries, but any competitive activity can potentially be a threat to eye health and vision.
Prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses typically do not provide adequate protection for sports use. That’s why athletes should be fitted with protective eyewear specifically designed for sports.
Lenses in sports eyewear usually are made of polycarbonate – an impact-resistant lens material that also blocks harmful ultraviolet rays. Sports frames should fit securely and comfortably and may come with rubber padding to cushion the frame where it comes in contact with the head or the nose area.
Even if you have 20/20 vision, the right sports eyewear can reduce glare and enhance contrast to help you see even better and react faster, and most importantly, protect your eyes so you can enjoy the sports you love for years to come.