child with a tennis racket and protective eyewear

April is Sports Eye Safety Month, but sports eye safety is important to practice all year long. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just play for fun, it’s essential to always keep safety at the forefront of your mind.

It’s also important to emphasize safety to your children if they participate in a sport. Eye safety is paramount as eye injuries are common and can lead to permanent vision loss. 

You can protect your vision by wearing proper safety equipment and ensuring your children do the same. Keep reading to learn some recommendations to follow during Sports Eye Safety Month!

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are some of the most common sports-related injuries. Most of these eye injuries are also entirely preventable. 

Proper eye safety massively lowers your risk for eye injury. You also might be surprised which sports cause the most eye injuries.

While eye injuries can happen with any sport, a few have a higher risk because they lack universally recommended safety gear. These high-risk sports include basketball, soccer, tennis, and other racquet sports. 

Other sports where eye protection is generally recommended, like baseball, lacrosse, and hockey, still carry a risk of eye injury. In these sports, eye injuries often happen when safety equipment isn’t used correctly or enforced. 

Eye Protection

The best way to avoid eye injury when playing any sport is to use the recommended safety equipment. However, not all sports have standard eye protection like basketball and soccer. 

For these sports, it’s best to follow the safety recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They recommend protective sports glasses made with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses for any sport that uses a projectile and doesn’t otherwise require a helmet or eye shield. 

You may worry about being overly cautious when wearing protective glasses if you’re the only one on the team wearing them. However, it’s essential to prioritize your safety.

It’s also important to prioritize your children’s safety. You can also encourage your team or your children’s team to adopt AAO recommended eye protection so everyone can be safe. 

Other Important Eye Safety Practices

There should always be a first aid kit on hand whenever playing any sport. It is also crucial for there to be someone around who knows first aid. 

Larger sporting events, like big games or invitationals, often have medical tents or ambulances to handle emergencies. However, you should prepare to treat injuries yourself, whether during a game or practice.

Before playing or practicing a sport for the first time, it’s good to review first aid tips for eye injuries. The best way to handle any kind of wound to the eye is to leave it alone and seek emergency treatment.

If there’s something in the eye, leave it in and make a shield for the object with a cup and medical tape. The shield will ensure the object doesn’t move around until a medical professional can treat the injury. 

When it comes to eye injuries, always err on the side of caution and seek treatment even if the injury seems minor. You don’t want to take chances with your visual health or the visual health of your teammates or children. 

By using the proper safety equipment, you likely won’t have to worry about emergency treatment for eye injuries. It’s best to prepare yourself for the worst so that you can treat eye injuries promptly and effectively.

Are you interested in learning more ways you can keep your eyes safe during Sports Eye Safety Month and the rest of the year? Schedule an appointment at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, ME, today!