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Your Eyes and Athletics: Tips for Protecting Your Visionin Boston, MA

With summer in full swing, a pick up game of baseball or volleyball can be found in cities and towns across the country. Sports enable us to maintain good fitness, develop new skills, relieve stress, and actively participate in our communities. However, as it is with anything, there is a downside to participating in athletics.  Each year, approximately 100,000 sports-related eye injuries occur, with thousands resulting in permanent vision loss.  Knowing how to protect your vision while participating in athletic events is a must!  

Happily, there is a simple solution for decreasing the risk of sports-related eye injuries: wear safety goggles.  The following is a quick list of the sports with the highest risk of eye injury:

  • Racquetball / Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Boxing

If participating in these, or any other highly physical activity, protect your eyes by following this best-practice guide for vision safety.

Goggles for High-Impact Sports

Any sport involving fast-moving balls, racquets, flying objects or quick, sudden movements poses a danger to your eyes. Whether you require prescription lenses or not, goggles reduce the risk of eye injury.

Even if you require prescription eyewear, goggles are available with prescription lenses, allowing you to have the best vision possible during athletic competition.

All goggles must be properly fitted to ensure the best protection.  This is especially important in children, as their facial structure is constantly developing. Properly fitted goggles should rest flush with the face, and should sit centered both horizontally and vertically over the ocular area. Sports frames are usually constructed of impact-resistant polycarbonate or plastic, and feature rubber padding where the frames come in contact with the skin on the head and nose areas.

How Lasik Can Protect You When Playing Sports

Still, even armed with the knowledge of the preventative nature of sports goggles, there are still many individuals who choose to play sports while wearing their glasses.  We cannot stress it enough: doing so poses a big risk of injury to your eyes and the surrounding area. When struck in the face with glasses on, either the frames or the lenses of your glasses may cause serious damage either to your eye, the delicate skin and tissue surrounding it, or both.  In addition to wearing protective eyewear, LASIK surgery further reduces the risk of eye injury during sporting events by significantly decreasing (or eliminating entirely) the need for vision correcting eyewear. Many professional athletes have chosen this route of treatment, including LeBron James, Troy Aikman, Dwayne Wade and Tiger Woods.

What to Do if an Eye Injury Does Occur

If you sustain an eye injury while participating in athletics, do not wait to seek medical attention. If seriously injured, go directly to the nearest emergency room, or at least contact a qualified ophthalmologist who can assess the injury for any damage that may have occurred. He or she will examine the injured eye for:

  • Small amounts of internal bleeding within the eye
  • Corneal abrasion, also known as a scratched eye
  • Swollen, puffy eyes

Your vision is one of the most important gifts you have.  Protect it and treat it well!

At the Nielsen Eye Center, we are dedicated to providing only the highest quality eye care for all of our patients. If you have any questions about the best eye protection option for you, schedule an appointment with us today by calling 617-471-5665.

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