Sports and Protective Eyewear

Participating in sports is a great way to stay in shape and keep your eyes healthy. When gearing up for a sporting activity, all athletes should consider protective eyewear, regardless if it’s for professional, amateur, or recreational purposes.

Last Updated: March 18, 2023

Video: What is most important when choosing protective eyewear? | Dr. Mike Rotholz

Risks of eye injuries vary from low to high depending on the type of sport you’re participating in, however, no sport is exempt. Eye injuries have been reported in low risk sports, such as swimming, bicycling, and gymnastics, as well as the more obvious high risk sports such as baseball, basketball, racquetball, and lacrosse.

Some of the most common types of eye injuries that happen while playing sports include:

  • Blunt Trauma: the most common type of eye injury, it occurs when an object hits the eye with blunt force, such as a ball. Some of the injuries caused by blunt trauma include retinal detachment, broken bone around the eye socket, iris injury, and retinal tears.
  • Corneal abrasion: can occur when a foreign object comes in contact with the eye surface, such getting poked in the eye, a scratched eyeball, or dust or sand getting into the eye. This type of injury can result in eye redness, blocked tear ducts, infection, or vision impairment.

Research indicates that 90% of all eye injuries that happen while playing sports are preventable, reinforcing the idea that protective eyewear should always be considered part of your equipment, just like facemasks, helmets, or shin pads.

To ensure your eyes are properly protected during sports, book an appointment with your local doctor of optometry to discuss the most appropriate type of protective eyewear for you.