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Sports Eye Safety

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April is Sports Eye Safety Month! This month-long observance is the perfect time to learn more about the prevalence of sports-related eye injuries, and what can be done to prevent them.

An estimated 30,000 ER trips each year are caused by sports-related eye injuries. Thankfully, experts believe that 90% of these injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear appropriate for the given sport. This could include sports safety glasses, visors, or face protection shields/cages.

While all sports and athletic activities can pose a risk to eye health, there are some sports that have a more dangerous track record than others. For instance, current research shows that basketball has caused the greatest number of eye injuries, followed by baseball, softball, airsoft rifles, pellet guns, racquetball and hockey.

But why are sports like basketball, baseball, and softball more dangerous to your eyes than others? Simply, it’s the lack of commonly used eye protection. Football, hockey, and shooting sports do incorporate facial protection as a rule. However, basketball players aren’t often seen wearing safety glasses (unless they’re already injured), and baseball/softball helmets protect the head, but not the face. Therefore, players are left at risk of catching an elbow to the eye on the court; or taking a wild pitch to the eye while up to bat. It follows, then, that many injuries in these sports could be avoided with the use of proper eye protection equipment.

Regardless of what sport you’re playing, eye protection is crucial. So, make sure you’re incorporating proper sports eye protection into your routine; your eyes will thank you for it!

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