If you have ever played sports and worn glasses, you know the limitations in doing so. Glasses present obvious mobility and peripheral vision issues. In addition, glasses offer little protection and actually can contribute to damage to the eyes if glass lenses are shattered.
Contact lenses offer a safe, clear and comfortable alternative for the athlete on any field or court. Peripheral vision is not an issue with contact lenses. However, contact lenses don’t protect the eyes other than offer some protection for the cornea.
Winter and indoor sports like ice hockey, basketball, football, and gymnastics, along with water and pool activities, baseball, softball, racquet sports and golf contribute the greatest number of eye injuries.
Does one sport dominate when it comes to eye injuries? The more contact that you have, the greater the chance of eye injury. However, the most damage is done when the orbital bone that surrounds the eye isn’t able to protect the eye – this means, an elbow, stick, puck or ball such as a racquetball can penetrate the eye causing potentially sight-threatening damage.
We recommend helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey and safety goggles for racquet sports and basketball. Sports eye injuries literally happen in the blink of an eye and affect professionals and amateurs alike. According to Prevent Blindness America, 90% of eye injuries can be avoided by following proper precautions. More than 40,000 people a year suffer eye injuries while playing sports.
What do you do if you have an eye injury? Contact your optometrist directly for the fastest, most effective response. Optometrists are well prepared to treat an eye injury immediately. Going to an emergency room is a second option that may prolong treatment in some cases, as the hospital must often locate an eye care specialist.
If you are questioning whether you need to seek medical attention, consider the following:
- Is your vision blurred at all?
- Do you notice discomfort or pain?
- Do you notice double vision, as your eyes look either up, down, left or right?
- Are you sensitive to light?
- Does your eye look swollen, red or feel irritated?
- Are your pupils different sizes?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, please seek immediate attention from your optometrist.
Author: Dr. Jerry Hendricks
Rockrimmon Vision Source
6005 Delmonico Drive, Colorado Springs CO