In the past, athletes rarely wore eyewear specifically designed to protect their eyes during sports, and sports-related eye injuries were common.
Sports eyewear today is worn by almost everyone who picks up a ball, bat, racket, or stick – whether they are professional athletes or amateurs.
It is good news for coaches, parents and athletes that protective eyewear is beneficial to them in a number of ways. In fact, many athletic and fitness clubs today do not permit their members to participate without the appropriate eye protection. The risk of eye damage is reduced, and the player’s performance is enhanced by the ability to see better.
Children in the past have been reluctant to wear protective sports eyewear due to concerns about “looking funny.”
As a result of the routine use of sports eyewear by professional athletes, protective goggles, face shields, and other sports eyewear have become increasingly accepted, much like bike helmets have become widespread. Additionally, modern sports eyewear gives children and adults the image that they mean business on the field, which is appealing to both.
Consider this if you do not wear eye protection while playing sports…
It is possible to sustain an eye injury while participating in any sport that involves balls, rackets, or flying objects.
A squash ball can travel up to 140 miles per hour (62.6 metres per second), as can a tennis ball.
Fast bowlers can deliver the ball at 93 miles per hour (41.6 metres per second) or faster in cricket.
Despite the fact that badminton can cause significant eye injuries, it is surprising to learn that the fastest shuttlecock speed recorded was approximately 306 miles per hour, or 136.8 metres per second.
As another potential danger, the rackets and bats themselves move rapidly within a confined space and may strike a player.
Many eye injuries occur as a result of pokes and jabs by fingers and elbows, particularly in sports where players are in close contact with each other. Rugby, for example, has a very high rate of eye injuries.
What to look for in a protective sports eyewear product
Typically, prescription spectacles, sunglasses, and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses do not provide adequate protection for sports activities.
Various types of sports goggles exist, many of which are designed for racket sports, as well as basketball and football. Some even fit inside helmets used for hockey and cricket.
Since polycarbonate is an impact-resistant lens material, it is ideal for protecting eyes from fast-moving objects. Sports eyewear lenses are usually made of polycarbonate. Moreover, polycarbonate is lightweight, and it contains built-in UV protection, making it an excellent material for outdoor sports.
Furthermore, eyewear frames play an important role in the safety, comfort, and visibility of sports eyewear. Various sports require different types of frames, which has led to the development of sport-specific eyewear.
The majority of sport frames can accommodate both prescription and non-prescription lenses. Sport frames are often made from highly impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, and many include rubber or silicone padding.
A contoured goggle may work well for biking, hang gliding, and sailing. Contact lens wearers particularly benefit from a wraparound goggle since it keeps out wind and dust.
Children’s fitting considerations
When it comes to sports goggles and other sports eyewear, it is imperative that they are properly fitted to the wearer, which is of particular importance for children, because the usual temptation is to buy a larger goggle than the wearer needs today so that they have “room to grow.”
When your child plays hockey, he should always wear a face mask. Hockey pucks are very dense and hard, and when they strike an eye at high speed they can cause vision loss and even permanent blindness.
It is acceptable to allow for some growth room, and sports goggles are designed to be somewhat flexible in terms of their width adjustment.
As long as the frames are too large and do not fit properly, the amount of protection they provide will be compromised, increasing the risk of eye injury.
Similarly, allowing a child to continue wearing goggles he or she has outgrown can be equally dangerous.
First, the frames will be uncomfortable, causing the child to remove them. Second, the frames may obstruct peripheral vision, leading to poor performance and an increased risk of being struck by a ball or other unseen object.
The fit of your child’s sport goggles should be reviewed every year in order to ensure that they are still providing proper protection. Ensure that the padding inside the sides of the goggles rest flush against the face and that the eyes are centered both horizontally and vertically in the lens area.