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One of the leading causes of blindness in children across the country is eye injuries, including those incurred while playing sports. The good news is that wearing the right protective eye safety gear can prevent 9 out of 10 of these injuries. Knowing which type of protection to use for a particular sport is imperative.

How Protective Eyewear Works

Regular eyeglasses and contacts aren’t designed to protect the eyes from injuries. Protective eyewear, however, is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, giving it high impact resistance while also providing protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Many sports require different kinds of protective eyewear, which can include safety goggles, face guards and so on. Special eyewear is also made available for certain sports.

When Is Protective Eyewear Needed?

Whether you or your kids practice or play an interactive sport, the risk of eye injury always increases without proper protection. Some types of sports will also have a higher risk of eye injury than others, so our resident optometrist recommends wearing the right type of protective eyewear for a particular sport:

  • Safety Goggles (Water Sports)
    Whether you’re surfing, water skiing or playing water polo, safety goggles are a must for added protection. These should be made of polycarbonate lenses to help minimize water-related eye injuries.

  • Polycarbonate Visor Shield (Football)
    Attached to a faceguard, this offers protection against objects that have the potential to penetrate openings in the faceguard grid. They also provide the wearer UV protection.

  • Sports Goggles (Basketball)
    Although they offer less protection than that of a helmet-mounted faceguard or visor, goggles are still better than a naked eye exposed to a ball impact which can otherwise result in vision problems. Don’t get just any type of sports goggles, however; make sure they’re approved to ASTM F803-19 or the most current sport-specific ASTM standards.

  • Helmet-Mounted Faceguard/Visor (Baseball)
    These are made from polycarbonate that’s thinner and lighter than plastic while also being shatterproof and impact-resistant. These should also be approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

For your eye care needs, turn to Spectrum Eye Care. We offer a wide range of services, including comprehensive eye exams, LASIK eye surgery co-management and myopia control. Call (704) 817-4600, or fill out our convenient online request form to schedule an appointment.