We wear all kinds of protective guards when playing sports – elbow and knee pads when skating or biking, full body gear during football and rugby, mouth guards for all kinds of sports, helmets of all kinds, and so much more. One area of sports safety where too many of us overlook the need for protective guards is eye safety.
After all, during almost any sort of athletic competition or performance we can scratch, hit, or somehow harm the eye. While goggles are a given when you are a swimmer, almost every other sport requires eye safety too – even when you don’t wear prescription glasses.
Just consider this for a moment – is there any logic to avoiding protective eyewear? Yes, it can make you look a bit goofy, but the padding isn’t exactly chic either, is it?
Wearing the proper eye gear can prevent a bone fracture around the eye, protect the cornea, and eliminate threats to your vision. The list of ways in which your eyes’ safety can be compromised during sports is almost endless, but maintaining eye safety during games is a simple thing. All you need to do is to wear the appropriate eye gear, but that does mean different eye gear for various games.
What Experts Suggest
Many sports and medical experts have the following suggestions, and they are remarkably simple solutions to somewhat complex problems:
Face guard and goggle combinations – Baseball, football, hockey and soccer players should all consider the use of an eye or full face guards, along with glasses or prescription goggles. These protect the face and eyes from sharp blows from the harder balls and pucks used in these sports, but also from elbows, feet, or fingers. Players benefit from this sort of protection in the event a hard and rapidly moving ball strikes their face or eye area.
Goggles or eye guards – Basketball, tennis, and racquetball players will always want to ensure that their eyes receive maximum protection from errant balls, but also from any impact with opponents. Players commonly collide with other players, get scratched or have the ball hit their eyes, and tennis or racquetball players may also get hit in the eye with a ball or even another player’s racquet.
What If You Don’t Play Those Sports?
Should you bother with eye safety gear if you don’t play any of the sports mentioned above? Naturally, other sports require the same sort of eye protection, and it is important just to ask yourself which gear is most appropriate. To figure this out, just consider the following questions:
Could a ball or another player hit my face in a way that could damage the bones of my face or eye sockets?
Could a ball or gear come into contact with my eyes or face in a way that could do harm such as scratching my eye?
Do I need glasses off the field?
A “yes” to any of those questions means you must get eye gear.
Interference and Performance
While a lot of people don’t want to wear protective gear because it looks silly, others don’t want to wear it because they fear it will somehow interfere with their ability to play the sport or perform well. While the latter does have some validity, just consider that your glasses or standard safety glasses are not going to protect eyes while you are playing a sport. Prescription and non-prescription safety goggles are designed to offer the utmost security and are designed with specific activities in mind. That means they will have cushioning, side panels, and adjustable straps intended to work in specific settings.
Visit an eye doctor or specialty sports store to find goggles for your specific game and not only will they help you to keep yourself as safe as possible, but they won’t negatively impact your performance at all, but may help it!