With the official start of fall right around the corner, and back-to-school season in full swing, it’s time for sports!
If your child is involved with sports, or you play one yourself, then you know that there are risks when you play the game. In a society where sports injuries are very common, and sometimes ignored due to the “walk it off” mentality, it is important that sports eye injuries are taken seriously.
We want to make sure your child is safe this sports season, that you know what to look for in an eye injury, and how to properly treat it.
Sports are classified as either collision or non-contact, which can be misleading in terms of the level of risk for an eye injury. Some collision sports, like hockey or lacrosse, require helmets that often times have built-in eye protection. Non-contact sports, like golf, tennis or baseball, may sound more safe, but these sports do not require eye protection, leaving the eyes more susceptible to injury.
Types of Injuries
There are several different types of eye injuries, however the most common are:
Blunt injuries are the most common sports-related eye injury. A direct blow to the eye from something that is bigger than the eye socket, usually a ball or an opponent’s body part, will cause fractures of thin bones in the eye.
A direct blow to the eye that is smaller than the eye socket will cause rapid compression and dilation in the eye, which transfers a strong force on the eye, often times causing bleeding.
Penetrating eye injuries occur when something cuts the eye. This can be from someone else’s finger or finger nail, sports equipment, large projectiles, or broken glasses from regular glasses frames.
Radiation injuries occur when there is overexposure to the sun. This is most common in outdoor sports where there are reflective surfaces, like snow skiing, water skiing, or fishing.
Don’t forget, it is possible to get a sun burn on your eyes, so be sure to wear proper UV protection.
How to Treat
The best thing you can do when a serious eye injury occurs is to immediately seek medical attention. If the injury is less serious, make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Don’t let your child return to playing the sport until they have been officially cleared by a doctor. Additional physical activity may worsen the injury.
How to Prevent
With eye injuries being the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States, it is extremely important that children wear protective eyewear when playing sports. Sports safety lenses are made from polycarbonate material, which provides the highest level of impact protection and prevents eye injuries.
Sports safety frames can be fit with prescription lenses, which are a sports-safe alternative to glasses or contacts.
You can also avoid eye injuries by wearing a helmet that is equipped with an eye shield. Even if a helmet or sports safety glasses are not required for your sport, consider wearing them for add-ed protection. Set an example for the rest of your team by playing smarter, and safer.
At Rx Optical, we care about you and your children’s eye health. We understand how important sports can be, but we want to make sure everyone is safe when playing the games they love. Our skilled team of eye doctors can evaluate eye injuries and quickly set up plans for treatment.
For more information, check out our recent blogs on the importance of sports safety glasses and how to choose the right sports safety frames.
Before your child hits the field this year, set up an appointment with us to have them fitted for sports safety frames at one of our 54 locations. We can’t wait to see you!