The roar of a crowd, a healthy adrenaline rush, and the sense of belonging to a team. Many of us love
sports, whether we’re actively playing them in adulthood, or just watching from afar. Eye injuries are
probably the last thing on your mind as you head to the basketball court or ball field— but did you
know that around 30,000 people suffer from sports-related eye injuries each year? That’s a lot of
people getting hit with a medical bill, a swollen retina, a black eye, or worse. You may be surprised to
know that the vast majority of these injuries can easily be avoided. All you need to do is play it safe
and use the proper equipment, which often includes an important piece of gear that most people
forget about entirely: protective eyewear.
We don’t mean your day-to-day eyeglasses or sunglasses, either. Contrary to popular belief, those
could both shatter and cause even more damage to your eyes in the grand scheme of things. The
best eye protection you can choose varies from sport to sport, whether you’re playing baseball,
basketball, football or hockey. Protective sports goggles, eyeguards, face guards, masks, and shields all
provide different levels of support, and they exist for a reason!
If you’re heading to the baseball field, you’ll probably want to bring along either eyeguards or a
face guard made of polycarbonate material. Sure, you may be nervous about sticking out a little, but at
least you don’t have to worry about the possibility of a cataract, a detached retina, sudden vision loss,
or an inflamed iris. Sometimes, physical damage to your eyes simply cannot be repaired. That’s right,
there’s no going back. That’s why prevention is of utmost importance when it comes to eye care.
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve likely heard of Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox. In 1967, he was hit
in the face by a pitch, which damaged his retina, dislocated his jaw, and cracked his cheekbone.
Within a matter of years, he couldn’t see out of his left eye at all. Tragically, he was forced to end a very
promising baseball career due to an injury that changed his entire life.
Accidents happen, but some injuries are truly preventable. Enjoy the game, but don’t strike out when
it comes to your vision. Protect your eyes while engaging in any sport that can lead to an eye injury.