Eye Protection for Active Lifestyles – What You Should Know

Whether you enjoy running, hiking, fishing, or playing hoops with your friends, the proper eyewear is crucial for keeping your eyes comfortable and protected from injury, the sun and the elements. Here’s what you should know about protecting your eyes while playing sports. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

At OptiExpress, we are huge ambassadors for proper eye protection, particularly when participating in high-energy outdoor activities, like sports, exercise, or when working in the sun.

Approximately 90 percent of all eye injuries are preventable. Simply wearing proper eye protection could have prevented 27,000 eye injuries experienced from sports in the United States alone.

Certain activities are particularly dangerous to the eyes because they involve projectiles. Sports such as paintball, airsoft, tennis, soccer, baseball, and softball cause the most injuries, followed by skiing, snowboarding, hockey, football, and archery. However, playing any sport without the proper protective equipment can be hazardous, particularly if the game is high energy and aggressive.

How to Select the Proper Eye Protection

All sporting goods retailers offer different types of protective equipment for the eyes. You can find specially made goggles, glasses, and face shields designed to be worn for specific activities and sports. The best options are lightweight, polycarbonate goggles that can withstand a variety of contact activities and even be worn safely over glasses. Polycarbonate goggles are highly shatter-resistant, even more so than standard plastic, and can be worn snugly around the head. These goggles are multi-purpose, so they can be used for other activities, too, such as eye protection during DIY home projects such as lawn maintenance, plumbing, or carpentry.

If you need significant vision correction and play a lot of sports, having prescription protective goggles might be a cost-effective and convenient solution, because you won’t be risking your everyday eyewear during play.

If you are considering playing organized aquatic sports like water polo, eye protection can be a bit complicated, because eyewear can be jostled significantly during the course of normal gameplay. If you require corrective eyewear but would like to play casually, it might be safer to play without goggles. However, do not ever wear contact lenses while playing aquatic sports, even under goggles.

Make Sure Your Eyewear Offers UV Protection

In addition to shielding your eyes from injury, your protective eyewear should shield your eyes from damaging UV rays. If your favorite sports activities are in environments where there is a lot of glare, such as beach sports or winter sports, sun protection is just as important as impact resistance and shielding. Look for 100 percent UV protection for your goggles in addition to resilience, comfort, polarization (which minimizes glare), and a wide field of vision. Polarization is particularly important, because glare can affect your ability to see your gameplay, making you susceptible to injury.

If you would like prescription protective eyewear for the sport or activity of your choice, the team at OptiExpress will be more than happy to discuss the best options for your lifestyle and concerns. OptiExpress offers the Ft. Myers, Florida community eye care services in a family-friendly environment.

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most distinguished optometry specialists for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.