Keeping active is one of the most important facets of living a long, healthy life. While regular physical activity can help you look and feel better, it can also help prevent many common eye conditions. Certain eye health issues co-exist with medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol; maintaining a good level of physical fitness contributes to the prevention of these kinds of diseases.
Several recent studies have shed light on the benefits of exercise on eye health. Moderate and regular exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration by up to 25%.
One of the most popular and fun ways to stay active is to play sports. Depending on your level of competition and the type of sport you play, you may be at a higher risk of physical trauma or corneal scratches. So how do you go about protecting yourself? With athletic eyewear, of course.
Outdoor sports can be brisk and refreshing, but these activities also put your eyes at an increased risk of being damaged by the sun’s UV rays. Polarized sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from the sun but could also improve your performance by cutting down on glare.
Look for a pair of sunglasses or goggles that fit snugly to your head with non-slip, adjustable ear and nosepieces. This will prevent them from falling off in the heat of the action. Choosing a “wrap around” style will protect the sides of your eyes by preventing any UV radiation from leaking in.
Choose a lens tint that is appropriate for your sporting needs: lighter or coloured lenses may provide more contrast and colour vibrancy, while darker lenses will make for better vision in bright settings such as on the slopes or under stadium lights.
Did you know swimmers weren’t allowed to use goggles in international competition until 1976? Nowadays, if you go to a swim meet, you’d be hard-pressed to find a swimmer without a pair.
Goggles are used to protect eyesight while swimming underwater. A good pair of goggles uses neoprene or similar waterproof materials to seal your eyes from chlorine and chemicals found in pool water, and algae or debris found at the beach or lake.
Prescription goggles are also available for those who need them. Polarized goggles, the choice of many well-known professional swimmers, can further enhance your vision underwater and neutralize rays of light from pool fixtures or outdoor lighting.
Make sure your goggles fit snugly, but not too tight, as this can constrict the blood vessels around your eyes and leave you with large, dark rings. You should be able to wiggle a finger between your head and your strap without much difficulty.
You may not think you need eyewear when playing indoor sports, but depending on the kind of sport you play, you may want to try protective eyewear on for size.
Famous basketball players, including Dwayne Wade, Tony Parker, and most recently, Amar’e Stoudemire, have worn protective eyewear to keep their eyes safe. Basketball, volleyball, and even soccer players may want to consider sport glasses to prevent errant finger jabs from causing a painful and disruptive injury.
Glasses or goggles are also common for racket sport players and are so highly recommended that the Canadian Safety Association has set specific standards for these accessories.
Looking for a sports eyewear solution? Start with a visit to FYidoctors. Our practices offer eyewear solutions to keep you safe and comfortable no matter what sport you choose, from popular brands such as Nike Sun and Rudy Project.
Our team of opticians and optometrists can answer any questions you have about what eyewear will best meet your athletic needs. Visit us online to book an eye exam at your nearest FYidoctors location.