Sports Eye Safety
Sports-related eye safety isn’t something many people think about, but they should. More than 25,000 people require treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The good news is that almost all of these injuries can be prevented with proper protection.
What sports are most likely to cause eye injuries?
- Water sports
- Racquet sports
What can be done to prevent sports-related eye injuries?
PIH Health Physicians Ophthalmologist, Lisa Y. Yang MD advises any athlete to take caution when playing sports. “Wear proper safety goggles that have polycarbonate protectors when playing sports like basketball, racquetball or tennis. For baseball or softball, use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields. Be mindful and protect your eyes like you would your head.”
- Wear eye protection for all activities and sports (regular eye glasses aren’t enough)
- Keep a first aid kit stocked with eyewash (be mindful of the expiration date)
- Don’t assume eye injuries are harmless. See an eye doctor immediately
Eye injuries can be anything from specks in the eye, a direct hit to the eye, or cuts and punctures to the eye or eyelid.
- For specks in the eye, do not rub the eye. Let tears wash the speck out or use eyewash and flush for 15 minutes
- For a direct hit to the eye, apply a cold compress without pressure. Seek medical attention immediately or as a follow-up depending on severity
- For cuts and punctures to the eye and eyelid, cover the eye with a paper cup without pressure and seek medical attention immediately
If an eye injury occurs, see an ophthalmologist or go to an emergency room immediately. Delaying medical attention can result in permanent vision loss or blindness. To find a PIH Health Ophthalmologist, visit PIHHealth.org/EyeCare or call 562.967.2885.