Just like fitness, speed or strength, good vision is an important factor in sports. Many interrelated vision skills, such as visual acuity and peripheral vision, can affect how well you play sport.
An optometrist with expertise in sports vision can assess your unique vision system, and recommend the proper tools to maximise your visual skills for your particular sport, as well as protect your precious eyes.
Eye protection for sports
Given the propensity for accidents in sports, it’s very important that proper eyewear is worn, by adults and children alike.
Sports-related eye injuries are very common, yet most are preventable by wearing the appropriate protective eyewear.
There are several sports and activities that present participants with moderate to high risk of eye injuries. These include paintball, badminton, baseball and softball, basketball, cricket, fencing, hockey, lacrosse, squash, tennis, volleyball and archery or darts.
Studies show that protective eyewear doesn’t hinder the player’s sight when playing sports. In fact, it’s logical that many people will play or perform better because they’re less afraid of getting hit in the eye.
Preventing sports related eye injuries
Here are some tips to protect your or your children’s eyes while playing sports:
- Wear appropriate, protective eyewear, such as safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards that are specially designed to provide the right protection for a certain activity.
- You still need protective eyewear relevant to the sport regardless of whether you need glasses or contact lenses.
- Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses do not protect you from sports-related eye injury.
- Optometrists typically recommend ultra-strong polycarbonate lenses for eye protection, in sports-appropriate frames or goggles that do not affect peripheral or side vision.
- It is important to protect against projectiles, fingers at close contact or the use of a bat, stick or racquet.
- Consult your optometrist about the best and safest sports option for you or your child.