September Sports Eye Safety Month

Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious injuries can be prevented through use of appropriate protective eyewear.

The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection.

High-Risk Sports

For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports.

Boxing and full-contact martial arts pose an extremely high risk of serious and even blinding eye injuries. There is no satisfactory eye protection for boxing, although thumbless gloves may reduce the number of boxing eye injuries.

In baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate (an especially strong, shatterproof, lightweight plastic) face mask or wire shield should be worn at all times.

Boy in helmet and protective glasses at bat in baseball gameProtective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for sports such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey.

  • Be careful during activities or games involving projectiles and other sharp objects that could create injury if in contact with the eye. For example, the U.S. Eye Injury Registry indicates that fishing is the number one cause of sports-related eye injuries.
  • If you wear contacts or eyeglasses, pack a back-up form of vision correction during bike trips or other activities where you could lose or shatter a lens.

If an eye injury occurs, call our office during business hours or after hours call the on-call doctor at 402.580.4856 or go to the emergency room immediately, even if the eye injury appears minor. Delaying medical attention can result in permanent vision loss or blindness.