• Eye Safety for Athletes

    || 06-22-2016

    July is eye injury prevention month, and a great time to discuss the importance of eye protection. As an athlete, it is important to consider eye protection, whether you play indoors or outdoors. From the sun’s UV rays to dirt and debris in the air, your eyes are always prone to injury.

    With the Olympics coming up this summer, many athletes are in their final weeks of training before the competition begins. In order to stay in peak physical condition for the big games, they, along with all other athletes, should observe these safety tips in training and in play.

    Sunglasses. Being outdoors exposes us to the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. These rays can cause serious, if not permanent, damage to our eyes if we do not provide them with the proper protection. Sunglasses have transformed over the years and become more of a fashion statement representative of Hollywood, but still offer protection from UV rays. Sunglasses are even offered in prescription glasses, and can be specially designed to be transitional glasses. When in a sunny area, the lenses transform to darkened lenses to protect from the sunlight. Conversely, in shaded or indoor areas, the lenses return to their normal state.

    Athletes should wear sunglasses during any prolonged exposure to the sun. This is particularly important for those who participate in summer sports. Too much exposure to UV rays can put you at a higher risk of getting cataracts or macular degeneration. Your eyes can also be injured due to strain caused by bright sunlight, so if you need eyeglasses, be sure to wear them. Visit your eye doctor regularly to keep up with your prescription glasses or contacts.

    Goggles. Protective gear, such as goggles, safety glasses, or face shield should be worn at all times when participating in a contact sport. Extreme sport goggles are designed to make it easy for your eyes to see the path ahead of you. They are also designed with special ventilation so that the goggles do not fog up. These types of goggles also come equipped with a comfortable, flexible headband that can be adjusted to fit almost anyone.

    For the Olympic swimmers, water resistant goggles should be worn. Note that if swimming involves being underwater for prolonged periods of time, the goggles will require a tighter fitting to ensure protection.

    Any time an athlete experiences an eye injury, medical attention should be sought out as soon as possible. Remember, millions of eye injuries occur every year, and almost 90% of them are preventable. Whether you are an Olympic athlete or simply love participating in sports, help to reduce the risk of an eye injury this summer with ocular protection gear.

    Categories: Blog
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