Keeping fit and participating in sporting activities is important for those aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look after themselves. What many people don’t realise is sport is now the biggest cause of hospital admissions for serious eye injuries in the UK.
Thousands of eye injuries are reported each year as a direct result of participating in sports and recreational activities. The worst offender is racket sports, in particular squash which is due to the size of the ball and the velocity at which the game is played. A squash ball is roughly the same size as the eye socket so it is just the right size to make full and penetrating contact with the eye. Other high risk sporting activities include football, tennis, cricket, golf and watersports.
The majority of glasses wearers who participate in sports choose to wear contact lenses when taking part. However, for vigorous sports, this provides very little protection for the eye. In contact sports such as football, basketball and squash, the most common injuries are blunt trauma from the ball and other players as well as scratching the surface of the eyes. These sports are best performed with the protection of special frames or goggles. Squash, for example, requires specialist goggles which protect the temples and bridge of the nose as well as the eyes.
For fast paced sports such as cycling or running, the most common problem people face is debris or insects entering the eye. Not only does this affect your performance as you need to slow down or take a break to remove them but they can also damage or scratch the surface of your eye. Sunglasses are a great solution to prevent this and will help in changing light conditions.
It’s not just the obvious sports that pose a risk, injuries sustained though trampolining surprisingly account for around 50 hospital admissions each year! If you take part in sports and are unsure as how best to protect you vision, speak with your local Optical Express optometrist who will be able to advise you on how to play safely.