Spring is finally here, and more people are getting outdoors to participate in sports and recreation. With that, it only seems appropriate that the month of April is Sports Eye Safety month.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur every year. This ranges from scratches on the surface of the eye to blinding injuries. Because your regular eyewear doesn’t offer protection from such incidents, you need protective eyewear that’s appropriate for your level of activity. By doing this, you can prevent up to 90 percent of serious eye injuries.
According to www.geteyesmart.org, the following will help protect your and your family’s vision during sports and outdoor recreation activities.
- Youth that play sports should wear eye protection such as polycarbonate lenses or masks that meet the requirements of the American Society of Testing Materials, even if the league doesn’t require it.
- People who wear contacts or glasses should also wear protective eyewear because contacts offer no protection and glasses are not sufficient protection (lenses may shatter when hit by a projectile).
- To preserve the vision they have left, all functionally one-eyed athletes – those with one normal eye and the other eye with less than 20/40 vision, even when corrected with glasses or contacts, should wear appropriate eye protection for all sports.
- Functionally one-eyed athletes and those who have had an eye injury or surgery should not participate in boxing or full-contact martial arts because of the high risk of additional serious injury that could lead to blindness.
- For sports in which a facemask or helmet with an eye protector or shield must be worn, such as football and lacrosse, it is strongly recommended that functionally one-eyed athletes also wear sports goggles that conform to the requirements of ASTM F803.
- Sports eye protection should be replaced when damaged or yellowed with age, as they may have become weakened and are no longer protective.