Whether you're young or old, an amateur or a professional, if you're involved in any kind of sport you may run the risk of seriously damaging your eyes. In fact, research provided by the CNIB shows that each year thousands of Canadians suffer sports-related eye injuries, some of which can lead to permanent vision loss. Yet according to the CNIB, 90% of these injuries are easily preventable.
With that in mind, here are five simple ways to prevent sports-related eye injuries from happening to you and your loved ones.
1. Don't substitute regular glasses for protective eyewear
Not only do you risk potentially damaging your frames and lenses, but you also risk damaging your eyes if parts of your eyewear become dislodged or broken. Instead, choose a form of protective eyewear that has been specifically designed and rated for the athletic activities you're involved in.
2. Wear lenses made of polycarbonate material
Polycarbonate is a powerful plastic capable of withstanding the force of a .22-caliber bullet. In addition to being incredibly strong, polycarbonate lenses are also lightweight, scratch resistant and can be matched with most prescriptions, making them the ideal protective eyewear material for virtually any kind of sport.
3. Choose the right protection for your sport
When it comes to protective sports eyewear there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That's why it's important to choose equipment that's been specifically created for your sport, whether it's polycarbonate basketball goggles or a CSA certified hockey helmet with face protector. Consult your local athletic associations to find specific recommendations for protective eyewear and equipment.
4. Don't play if you have any kind of injury
For those of us who play sports, the mentality of "toughing it out" and getting back into the game is something that's often drilled into us. Our eyes, however, are incredibly delicate and even a minor cut or abrasion could potentially turn into something more serious if left untreated or injured further. If you've been injured in or around the eye, stop playing immediately and consult with your optometrist.
5. Speak with your optometrist before you play
Before you start playing any kind of sport on a regular basis, you should consult with your optometrist. Not only will this allow you to get a comprehensive eye exam to ensure your vision health is up-to-date, but your optometrist can also recommend specific vision solutions that can keep your eyes happy and healthy, both on and off the field.
For more information on polycarbonate lenses and other protective sports eyewear, find an FYidoctors location nearest you.